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TV Networks Networking Online

NBC isn’t the only one making moves online. ABC, CBS and MTV are also in the news today for their online strategies.

CBS, as reported by the LA Times, has turned its attention to creating communities for its shows on the site. Designed to allow fans of its shows to congregate and discuss the shows.

Adding a social aspect to its site seems like a good idea. It will help to increase visitors’ time on site, as well as show consumer loyalty for shows. However, I have seen community message boards like these become mostly a platform for people who hate the show in question, and expect the network to see and respond to their complaints. As long as it’s abundantly clear that the message boards are for discussing the shows with one another, it should work out at least moderately well for CBS.

Google Shared Stuff is Delicious

It seems Google’s decided to dive into the arena of social bookmarking with their soft launch of Shared Stuff.

Simply add a bookmark button to your browser:


You can then use that to share your favorite web page. Or by clicking on any page that displays the share button:


From there you decide on a label for the page you are sharing, email to a friend, or push to other social bookmarking sites.


A pretty cool feature is that Google will auto-pick an image from the site, to use as a thumbnail. Users can scroll through the different images on the page and select an image that will best represent the site being shared.

Digg Gets Social-er

Business Week reports today that Digg will be rolling out a brand new, even more social site any minute now. Designed to bring more of a social networking aspect to the site, the new design will feature the ability to create a “real” profile page, better connect with your Digg friends, monitor their activities and send them stories. Just what die-hard Diggers needed: another excuse to while away the hours on their favorite website.

Business Week writes:

Instead of submitting stories for review by the larger Digg community, users will be able to send—”shout” in Digg terms—story links along with messages to particular Digg friends. Friends, or small groups of friends, also will be able to chat or discuss stories on their personal pages with posts to a message board, a feature akin to the “wall” on Facebook.

MySpace Starts Contextual, Targeted Advertising

paidContent reports that MySpace will launch contextual, targeted advertising on its members’ profiles starting soon. After six months of testing with a 100-member team in MySpace’s parent corporation, their system will analyze the content of members’ profile pages and display relevant ads alongside the content.

paidContent reports:

The program is currently in a pilot phase with 10 “enthusiast” segments with some select advertisers, and will be available broadly this fall other segments. Also, in November, MySpace will launch a self-serve online ad system to allow smaller companies to aim at MySpace users with their ads.

They expect the advertising to jump 80% in click-through rate, while doubling their monthly revenues (to $80m).

They did not explain why they did not choose an extant contextual advertising platform, but it’s likely that they’d profit more from a home-grown solution.

31% of Social Network Users Enter False Information

A new survey by emedia suggests that 62% of social networking users are concerned about the security of their personally identifiable data. The fears run so high that 31% of social network users have already entered false information to protect their identity.

There’s lots of other interesting data, including respondents thoughts on how social networks can be used in business:

…87% of all respondents think social networking sites can be used for business purposes including networking (65%), exchanging ideas (58%), getting advice (44%), recruitment (43%), research (35%) and selling (31%).

But, be warned. Half of the users found advertising on social networks to be “intrusive.”

Can Yahoo Mash Cut It?

As Jerry Yang’s 100 days draw to a close, predictions for Yahoo announcements have flown thick and fast over the last week:

Obviously, the last one hasn’t come true. (Okay, neither has the second to last one, but anyway.) Yahoo has unveiled its newest attempt at social networking: Mash.

Yahoo Mash
My Yahoo Mash Profile

Entering invite-only beta over the weekend, Mash combines popular features from lots of other social networks, as Rafe Needlemen of CNET notes:

  • As with MySpace, “Users can add their own backgrounds and color schemes to totally destroy the readability and speed of their pages. . . .There’s a twist with Mash, though: When viewing any profile, users can switch from the pimped out page (the “fugly” version) to a plain, clean page with a white background.”

Viacom Seeking to Save Its Rep with . . . Yahoo?

Viacom, staunch opponent of YouTube, has cemented its reputation as “the man” among the free-content generation by opposing the Web favorite. The parent company of everything from MTV and VH1 to Comedy Central and Nickelodeon has a long way to go to catch up online after their attempts at suing the pants off Google.

Almost six months ago, Viacom announced that MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central would have their own branded video channels, and progress continues on that front. Part of the launch for these video channels is Viacom’s own social networking site, Flux. Fortune says Flux was supposed to launch last night, but the site still says it’s “Coming Soon . . .”