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Google’s OpenSocial Provides API for Social Networks, Except Facebook

Just days after Google apparently lost the opportunity to buy into Facebook to Microsoft, the company is expected to reveal details of its social networking master plan on Thursday. OpenSocial is a new set of standard APIs that will allow application developers to more easily build apps for social networks.

Google goal is to help shape the standards used between developers and social networks. Likely the move came from being shutout from Facebook. Not only did Google not get a piece of the social network, but Facebook uses a proprietary API that requires developers build apps specifically for it–sounds much like cell phone companies, doesn’t it?

So, Google’s OpenSocial will focus on three standard APIs that that will act as a conduit to the core data of social networks:

Facebook Rumors: SocialAds, Liars and Snooping

Just one week until the engraved-invitation-event (oh, if only I were one of the cool kids!) and Facebook rumors are flying at only about the same rate as usual. Not so good for Facebook: many of the stories aren’t so positive. Is the media darling falling on hard times?

Read/Write Web reports on the impending announcement, which will presumably be about SocialAds—and possibly about these SocialAds being “portable”:

The rumored technology would work like this: Facebook would place a cookie on your computer (the site already requires users to have cookies enabled to log in), every time you visit a third-party site that runs ads utilizing the “Social Ads” product, they would be targeted based on your social networking profile data. So, theoretically, if you’ve professed your love of Pepsi on your Facebook profile, you might see Pepsi ads while reading the news at MSN.

TechCrunch Backs-up Our Google Social Network Theory

Last Thursday, I shared my opinion on why Microsoft needed the Facebook deal more than Google did. Here’s the bottom line…

A social network that already has all of the pieces in place: email, instant messaging, blogs, image and video sharing. If Google really wanted to own a social network, it could take the $240M it just saved and put that towards building a kick-ass one. A few rumors, closed beta invites, and denials of competing with MySpace later, and the whole world’s going crazy over Google Connect (or whatever they want to call it).

Today, TechCrunch shares some insider knowledge that suggests Google’s working on bringing its applications together. While I suggested "Google Connect," it appears they’re going with–at least internally–the more descriptive "Maka-Maka." (which makes it sound like something Gonzo would head-up).

Blogging for Business Conference–Gary Goldhammer Keynote

How to Measure Social Media Effectiveness

Gary Goldhammer, Edelman Interactive

The hidden reality: there is no way right to measure social media. We’re all figuring this out. Nielsen is measuring time spent, interactions.

We respect what has happened—things that are visible, tangible. We honor the established solutions.

But we ignore the things that could have happened. We need to look beyond. That’s where innovation thrives. It thrives in the places that aren’t visible, aren’t tangible. We like to rely on others to write the case studies for us.

Low predictability = large impact

Forget everything that you know. Put it out of your mind. What you know about communications is irrelevant and insignificant compared to what social media has to offer. What you absolutely know about communications is a barrier to social media. The past is not always significant. What we know is less significant than what we don’t know.

NBC Getting Things Right

It’s time we recognize some of the things people are doing right (aside from buying 1.6% of Facebook).

NBC’s The Office Social Network Takes Off

It’s hard to go anywhere on Facebook without seeing an app based on the popular sitcom, The Office. NBC has started to capitalize on this social currency with a social network of its own. Launched last month, the social networking site, Dunder Mifflin Infinity

But the 12.5% conversion rate isn't the only impressive stat the network can boast. According to MediaPost,

NBC must have known that “The Office” had a highly engaged audience when a newsletter promoting its new site was met with a 73% unique open rate and a 56% unique click-through rate.

So maybe not everything NBC touches withers and dies.

Facebook Feeding Frenzy

More Investor Cash for Facebook

Yesterday we learned that Microsoft bought 1.6% of Facebook for $240 Million. Today there is another large investment – it’s been rumored that Facebook got an additional $500 million from two New York hedge funds. Part of that deal is that Microsoft will do more advertising on the site. Facebook has a jaw-dropping $15 billion valuation. This is incredible. Together the new investments are for about the percentage that Microsoft owns.

Elizabeth Corcoran from Forbes Magazine broke the story yesterday and the news spread faster than the California wildfires (which, thank goodness, are slowing).

Facebook was seeking $750 million from the get-go and are at $740 and have only given up about 5% of the company. And we don’t know their revenue but it’s based on advertising. Estimates put their revenue at $100 million for last year.

Digg for Greens = Hugg

Here’s a niche social network you’ve probably never heard of – it’s like Digg for environmentally friendly stories. That means you can vote for stories and try to promote them to the top of the list. Hugg is a green version of Digg and they even tout that in their of their taglines – It’s Digg for Green. If you go there you’ll find environmentally friendly stories videos, and links. Plus you can share green information with the community of other like-minded [tree] Huggers.

So far the community looks small. The first story is “Top 10 Amazing Facts about Animals.” This is a niche community which is perfect if your business or blog fits. Google loves relevant links, so it’s a great way to get a targeted link and the site has a PageRank of 6. There should be a niche community like this for more topics.