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Social Networks Going the Way of Reality TV?

By Roderick Ioerger

Are we inundated yet? Like reality television, social networking is getting to the point where the newness and creativity seems to be losing some of its luster. How many social networking sites can a person really effectively use and enjoy? (even Robert Scoble can’t keep up). Everyday there seems to be some sort of new social network to connect some niche vertical, today it was the baking network, tomorrow who knows? And really at this point who cares? I feel like I know what all my friends, relatives, and even casual acquaintances are doing twenty four seven and clearly they seem to have a pretty good idea what I am up to too.

Spotting Negative Social Media Marketing

There has been plenty of chatter in the last couple of days about ways that people could be negatively affecting your search engine marketing strategy. People are right to be worried, you only have to look at your search referrals to see how many people are typing in your brand name into the search engines. If there’s some mud slinging going on in your SERPs; plenty of people could end up reading it.

The Google results aren’t the only battle ground for disgruntled customers or unethical competitors. Everyman and his dog are getting involved in social media, and it’s here where the next round of fights will take place. So it’s worth thinking about where and how your rivals could be doing damage to your business.

Presidential Internet Campaigns Weak

Last week, we announced the results of the 2008 Presidential Election Candidate Reputation Study. You remember—15 of the 18 candidates studied had negative listings in the top 20 on Yahoo and Google.

This week, another study follows suit. iCrossing published the “How America Searches: Election 2008” study yesterday, examining the 42% of voters who turn to the Internet to inform their voting. According to their study, which looked at candidate- and issue-related keywords, social media sites and news media sites outranked candidates’ own sites:

The candidates’ own Web sites trail behind news and social media sites as preferred sources of information; and candidates are sorely lacking in visibility when it comes to voter searches on specific issues in both natural and paid search.

IT Execs Accepting Social Media

At least one industry is willing to be on the social media edge of Internet marketing, according to a new survey by ITtoolbox. Having talked to over 2100 IT professionals, in companies of all sizes and in various roles, ITtoolbox reports on how influential social media can be on purchasing decisions.

The survey included “blogs, podcasts, online communities, wikis, and profiles/social networking” in the social media realm. The survey found that, on average, IT professionals spent 3.5 hours a week using social media. ITtoolbox created a “Social Media Index,” to measure a group’s use of social media in comparison to that of business managers; three of four IT professions used social media far more heavily:

  • Executive Decision-Maker: 121
  • IT Decision-Maker: 96.5
  • Business Manager: 100 (index)

With Social Media Everyone’s a Critic

Over at CNET, Michael Kanellos takes a light-hearted look at the proliferation of consumer review web sites. Focusing mostly on Yelp.com and TripAdvisor, Kanellos explains how it can be difficult to find useful information when reviews are littered with two extremes – nitpickers and evangelists.

The best line? Kanellos succinctly describes how the impact of social media on reviews…

It’s like meeting the global community, and finding out they are all my mother.

:-)

Pownce – it’s not very original but it’s going to be bigger than twitter

The invites to Kevin Rose’s latest twitter-like project, Pownce, have been like hotcakes, and after 24 hours playing with the site I’ve come to the conclusion though it might not be the most creative web2.0 app out there, but it’s got a very good chance of becoming far more successful than any of it’s more innovative predecessors.

Figurehead – as much as we may like to believe that the web has made marketing a more level playing field, you only need to look at a couple of recent launches to see the power of having a ‘web celeb’ as a figure head. Jason Calacanis at Mahalo & Guy Kawasaki at Truemors have been able to harness the cult of their personalities to attract attention and hype to their latest ventures, even if they might not deserve it. With Digg’s Kevin Rose at the helm, it’s very likely the project will be able to punch well above its weight when it comes to press and social media coverage.

Winksite Shares Some Mobile Love

Note to diary.

July 6 – Winksite introduce upgraded mobile publishing platform that promises to extend the reach of the Mobile Web.

July 7 – Launch my personalized, optimized, cross-browser compatible mobile portal.

Can it be that easy?

One of the biggest challenges for both experienced content publishers and web enthusiasts alike is the strict flavour (subset) of HTML that mobile browsers depend on – xHTML Mobile Profile (often dubbed WAP 2.0). So far, it’s been a vicious cirlce! Desktop browsers (mostly talking IE here) have been so forgiving in the past – rendering poorly coded websites in a presentable manner – that adoption of standards for mobile screens has been resisted, resulting in poor user experience and the dragging of progress heels.