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Friendster, Bebo, Tribe, Vox—we’ve missed you of late. As today is supposed to mark the end of the world, the virtual social worlds of years past have been much on our mind.
Where have they gone? Why did they go? Do we even care?
It’s hard to answer those questions without first marveling at what now falls under “social.” A decade ago, blogs and sites like Friends Reunited or Classmates.com were peripheral to our daily digital lives. Today online sociability is the norm: We turn to Yelp reviews when deciding about a restaurant or, when that fails, post on our Facebook walls—“Hey, where can I find good Thai in Philly?” We laugh at cat videos all day long, and we add our IMHO to a long list of responses to ire-inducing blog posts.
When it comes to social networking, Facebook garners most of the attention. And for obvious reasons: Facebook is the largest social network in the world, accounts for the bulk of the spending on social ads, went public earlier this year in a record-breaking IPO and has had a volatile experience as a publicly-traded company.
LinkedIn is, by comparison, far less buzz-worthy. But don't let that fool you: the publicly-traded professional social network is valued at more than $10bn and its shares trade at a mind-boggling 695 times earnings -- a PE ratio five times that of Facebook shares.
There's little doubt that for many, if not most major brands, social media is a can't-ignore channel. But when it comes to branding, companies aren't the only ones using social media.
Thanks in part to the state of the global economy, the growth of social networks and the increasing importance of digital skill sets, individuals have embraced social media as a way to 'brand' themselves.
In some cases, that 'personal branding' can lead to greater job opportunities, and some even argue that individuals without a strong social media presence will increasingly find themselves at a disadvantage.
Following GM's decision to ditch paid Facebook ads prior to the social network's much-anticipated IPO, reports surfaced indicating that the break-up was due to Facebook's refusal to allow the automaker to run bigger, bolder ads.
Although the world's largest social network has been ratcheting up its monetization efforts, it has understandably been cautious about giving advertisers free reign. After all, if advertisers had their way, Facebook would probably be plastered with ads.
How important is social to Google's future?
It depends on who you ask. Some believe that if Google doesn't find a way to compete in the space, Facebook might eventually eat its lunch.
Those who are a tad more skeptical suggest that Google and its advertising money machine don't need social to thrive.
Time will tell which camp is right, but Google has already decided. With the launch of Google+ and Search, plus Your World, it's clear that the search giant is committed to giving its all in an effort to become a meaningful player in the social market.
After years of waiting, one of the most widely-discussed IPOs ever -- that of social networking giant Facebook -- is all but certain to happen this year as the company is forced to make public disclosures in the coming months.
The exact timing of Facebook's IPO has been the source of much speculation, but according to the Wall Street Journal, the wait may be over next week.
IBM may be one of the largest, most successful technology companies in the world, and it has a piece of a lot of pies. But chances are it isn't one of the top companies that comes to mind when you utter the words "social media" or "social network."
For a growing number of corporations, however, IBM has become the social networking vendor.
Good news for paid content. The internet is closing in on television as a popular source of entertainment for consumers. According to a new study from Edelman, more people go to the internet for entertainment than ever before.
Those numbers still need to grow substantially for online advertising revenue to outpace the "digital dimes" that it currently earns compared to TV, but there is a bit of silver lining in terms of charging for online content. Consumers this year are more likely than ever to chose paying for content versus making personal concessions to access free content. That means media companies may be moving toward a reprieve from the "tyranny of free" online.
I can understand why fear pervades the social space. Some psychologists have argued that social networking will contribute to the death of emotional intelligence. I don’t share this paranoia. Email didn't kill the conversation, so why should social networking?
In my opinion, the medium through which you communicate does not destroy your inter-personal skills, it merely reflects and amplifies them. Here's my take on why social media can have a positive effect on our communication skills.
Facebook has just launched Fan Box, a new widget. This is great news for brands wanting to grow a Facebook fan page. But it's probably going to drive traffic in the wrong direction for most brands.