Industry Round Up
By Brigette Kidd
TechCrunch and Mashable have carved out an important niche in the industry. They are both the go to sites to stay on top of the latest changes in the industry. Here is some from this week:
Facebook Launches the ‘Send’ button for Selective Sharing. This will be a friend to Facebook’s ‘like’ button. All you have to do is click on a webpage that has the ’send’ button to share content with a select group of Facebook friends or any standard email addresses. This is a strategic move by Facebook, which has a mission to reinvent email using their own “modern messaging system”, as stated by Mark Zuckerberg.
WuFoo sold to SurveyMonkey for $35 Million. This is an inspirational story because WuFoo started with only $118k back in 2006. The online form maker has helped process over $100 million in transactions using its forms. This is the third purchase made by SurveyMonkey, following its acquisitions of ClickTools and Precision Polling.
Facebook Gets Sued for $1. Last February David Fagin, an AOL News Writer was blocked from sending friend requests from his Facebook account. He was blocked and labeled a “spammer” by Facebook and warned that his account would be totally inactivated if he did not stop his actions. Mr. Fagin is suing Facebook for $1.
Amazon Server Trouble! Some of Amazon’s AWS services have been experiencing technical difficulties. AWS is the company’s cloud computing platform. A few of the sites impacted by this problem are Reddit, Foursquare and HootSuite.
Yahoo Grabs IntoNow for $20-$30 Million. IntoNow is the media check-in game that launched just 12 weeks ago! Facebook and Twitter were interested in the startup, but Yahoo grabbed it fast! IntoNow went from 0 to $30 million in four months.
PlaceIQ will Target Block by Block. This mobile advertising data startup with $1 million in angel money will gather data from cell phones users block by block. Using GPS coordinates, zip codes and different times of the day, PlaceIQ will gather data and provide information to marketers.
Community Round Up
This weekend I was chatting with a friend. She and I have known each other for over 35 years and shared tears of joy at each other’s weddings as well as celebrated with laughter and drinks when our divorces were final!
My friend is single and wants to find a male companion that she can talk to, attend a play or go out to dinner with. She is not alone in her request, as I have heard the same words from both my male and female friends consistently for the past three years. It has been difficult for everyone to navigate through the dating arena especially if you have been married.
As I was listening to her I started thinking about my blogging homework assignment. I decided to take a look at the online dating industry. It helped that she mentioned that a mutual friend of ours had just joined eharmony.com. Also our friend Lisa was still excited about reconnecting with a high school sweetheart on Facebook the day before.
Most social networking sites initially have difficulty generating revenue; take Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. In fact they were started with venture capital funds with the hopes of selling the site for millions later. This business strategy worked for MySpace and both Facebook and Twitter are exploring different revenue models with ads and technology sharing.
The social networking of online dating is a billion dollar business. Some common online dating sites are; Match.com, eharmony.com, Blacksingles.com, Spark.com and Christianmingle.com.
Why is online dating a billion dollar industry? Simple, people want and need other people. People are willing to pay to meet someone. Whether the user is looking for companionship, marriage, dating or just sex, online makes it easier to connect. Setting up profile and loading a photo is easy and it can be done from the comfort of a person’s home. To search and browse profiles on these sites are often free, but users then have to pay to make a connection. Many sites offer coupons and discounted annual memberships, but on the average membership fees range from $25 to $60 per month.
One of my favorite songs is “People” by Barbara Streisand. The meaning of the song is basically that people who do not cut themselves off from society or the love of others are “the luckiest people in the world.” It is pretty clear that the millions of users of these online dating services want to get lucky!
Robert Scoble has blogged since 2000. His site, http://www.scobleizer.com has over 3.5 million readers a year. Robert was the architect of Microsoft’s Chanel 9 Web site. Now he currently works for Rackspace and the Rackspace sponsored community site Building 43.
Shel Israel is an author and public speaker in the social media arena. He contributed editorially to Business Week, Dow Jones Co, and FastCompany.TV. His last book Twitterville was published in 2009.
Naked Conversations was published in 2006 and it is evident that more businesses have started blogging. Scoble and Israel co-authored the book and with the help of the public. Scoble posted the idea of the book on a thread and started writing the book based on feedback as well as his own experience.
Basically, the Naked Conversations is a who, what, why and how blogging is good for business. It gives an objective view of how businesses that blog have more transparency which builds customer trust, allows audiences to take part in the main stream media by having a voice in the blogosphere and challenges traditional public relations strategies.
Because the book was written with public input, all the examples cited are real and can be researched for more specifics. This added to the depth of the book, but made reading sometimes heavy with detailed stories. Given this, each chapter of Naked Conversations headlines with a quote.
My favorites were, “What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate” – Captain, Cool Hand Luke
“We are all alike” – The 14th Dalai Lama
I found it very resourceful to have each website listed at the bottom of the pages when a blog was referenced. It allowed me to view the sites as I read the book.
In my opinion, I think Naked Conversations could have been divided into two books. I felt that there were so many interesting ideas and conversations that I had to take several breaks from it to have the information sink in.
Scoble and Israel give many tips in the book, all of which are very useful. I found the following five tips most helpful when starting a business blog. 1. “What’s in a Name?” Think through the title of your blog. You want your blog to be easily to search and in the top rankings.
2. “Read a Bunch of Blogs before you Start” This is a way for you to see the different types of blogs and motivate you to write your own.
3. “Keep it Simple. Keep it Focused” The authors advise having each post contain just one idea. I subscribed to sethgodin.com and scobleizer.com because their posts are simple and easy to read.
4. “Demonstrate Passion” This doesn’t mean be emotional. In fact it is suggested that you do not blog if you are angry or if you are going through something emotional. Remember your blog represents the company. Blog often.
5. “Show your Authority” Blog what you know!
Although Scoble and Israel state that businesses should “blog or die”, it is noted that some business should not blog i.e., businesses that do not have good employee relationships, have something to hide, or deal with services where privacy is key.
Overall, Naked Conversations is an excellent book to help business understand the importance of blogging.
– Brigette Kidd
Liz Burr is a new media consultant who splits her time between New York and Los Angeles.
She earned her B.S in Comparative Media Studies from MIT and a Master’s degree in Communication Managment – APOC from USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism.
Liz is an enthusiastic blogger and describes herself as “a twenty-something bi-racial chick (Black and Dineh) who is originally from New Mexico.”
She loves blogging and has over 10 years of experience. Read some of her articles on Grammy.org and PBS.org.
Currently she owns her own business and has expertise in designing and developing websites.
For more information about Liz Burr please visit,http://www.lizburr.com/
Happy Valentine’s Day Google!
Love your doodle!