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Facebook is already pretty open. Its developer platform enables developers to build applications that leverage Facebook users' 'social graphs' and its Connect API gives developers the means to 'connect' their websites with Facebook.
But, perhaps in an effort to compete with the service Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg can't have (Twitter), the social network is set to become even more open.
Social networks are so intriguing to marketers because they represent the internet equivalent of a popular hangout, thoroughfare or stadium.
If you're looking for eyeballs, social networks like Facebook and MySpace have no shortage of them. But eyeballs don't always equate to revenue, or ROI, and capitalizing on them has proven hard for marketers and social network owners to do.
The current state of the financial markets has made it very difficult for startups to go public. Even startups with significant revenue and bright futures have no guarantee that they'll be able to go public anytime soon.
The dismal IPO market is taking its toll on venture capitalists, who invest in companies that they expect, if successful, will be liquid within some years.
As Facebook's unbelievable growth continues unabated, the company is increasingly finding itself scrutinized by critics who are asking a simple question: 'where's the money'?
Even though Facebook is generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, its costs are growing rapidly and there are various unsubstantiated rumors that the company is on a potentially disastrous financial path.
It used to be that you do a decent job of protecting your brand by registering the domain names that incorporate your brand name.
Not anymore. Thanks to social networking sites and other online communities, consumers are increasingly interacting on third party services that have become targets for brand hijackers, impostors and opportunists. Their MO: snap up usernames that are related to major brands (and prominent individuals).
We've written about the potential of using social media for customer service, or at least monitoring and responding to customers' comments and complaints, and here is a great example of how valuable this can be.
Naked Wines, which launched last December, was very quick to get involved in social media; it has a Twitter account as well as a Facebook group, and this example shows the value of monitoring and responding to customers' concerns where they are talking about you.
Content may be king but many companies have found that producing and distributing quality content requires a royal bank account.
The plight of the newspaper industry is a good example: news hasn't gone out of style but, for many newspapers, the cost structures associated with producing the news is incompatible with today's market. Costs simply exceed revenues.
Yahoo has a lot of work to do as it looks to rebuild under new CEO Carol Bartz. Bartz has assets to work with, namely Yahoo's diverse portfolio of highly-trafficked properties.
One of the biggest challenges: figuring out a way to pull them all together, both from an operational standpoint and a functional standpoint.
With all of the talk about social media and Marketing 2.0, it's easy to overlook less exciting marketing tools. Like coupons.
But make no mistake about it: coupons are in vogue as consumers look for every opportunity to save money. That means business is good for players in the online coupon industry.
Digg, the popular content sharing website that lets users 'vote' for their favorite content on the web, is a favorite of online publishers. Get Digged enough and you might hit the Digg homepage, which can drive tens of thousands of visitors in short order.
Currently, there are two ways to Digg content: on the Digg website or through a button that publishers place on their web pages.
Social media has given brands a new medium in which consumers can be engaged. Most agree: there's something really important about this, even if we disagree on just what that is.
At the same time, social media has given consumers a powerful new tool for interacting with brands. It's now possible to provide feedback, issue praise and voice complaints in a manner that can have a real impact very quickly.
By almost all metrics, Facebook is the top dog in the social networking market. Even though it's now 5 years old, it's still growing like a weed and there's no reason to believe that its growth is going to subside anytime soon.
But is the company increasingly troubled?