Articles in the Social Media News Category

April 13 2010

AOL saying Bye-Bye to Bebo

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I continue to see articles concerning AOL’s slow implosion in the press.  The latest in the salvo concerns the management at AOL consideration of shedding Bebo.  AOL bought Bebo for $850 million two years ago, while they were still a part of Time Warner Inc.  Bebo was an important piece of their transformation plan in which AOL wanted to move away from being a subscription based service for Internet access to a media business generating ad-supported revenue.  When a business with the resources of a Time Warner makes a billion dollar bet and fails to monetize, one must wonder if they performed the proper vetting process or were they simply following the herd.

This is not the first failure in the firm’s acquisitions; Buy.at was recently jettisoned for $17 million after paying $125 million in 2008 for the dgital ad firm.  Will its instant messaging service ICQ be next?  When will the shareholders demand better stewardship from the leaders making these bets?

The small to medium business (SMB) owner would not survive if they followed the herd at each new fork in the technology path.  SMBs must be better shepherds of their funds than the large public companies that they compete against, if they want to survive and flourish.  So how does a SMB determine when to launch a social media campaign and which platform?  Many variables must be considered such as these outlined in a recent blog post.   When you are ready and have performed your due diligence, give us a call and hear how we can help you to make the correct bet.

February 23 2010

Google Buzz Over Before it Began?

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Google Buzz was introduced to the world just a few short weeks ago as a new Social Media tool that allows for sharing of status updates, images, and videos via a new Gmail tab called Google Buzz. However in that short time, it has garnered plenty of attention and publicity. Unfortunately for Google, most of it hasn’t been the good kind. The search giant is being slammed by many outlets for Buzz’s lack of privacy, by sharing personal information without a user’s consent. Basically Google was ‘making’ you socially connected with people that you share email information with, which for all of us is a pretty scary concept.

Stories flew around about people getting caught cheating and women being reconnected with abusive ex-husbands. Very quickly, Buzz was tarnished. Google quickly scrambled to adjust their privacy settings in order to placate their users. These new options give users more control over the information you want shared.

But it’s far from over… Not a week later, Google is involved in a local class action complaint, where a Florida resident claims they have broken several electronic communications laws. It’s only a matter of time until we hear about more of these types of cases. 

It’s concerning to watch such a giant corporation go through the deployment of a new product with so many bumps in a short span of time. It will be very interesting to see how Google responds and reacts to all the ‘buzz’ on Google Buzz.

February 17 2010

Saving Lives? There’s an App for that…if you are an iPhone user

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At $3.99 to download, I would be hard pressed to pay for an application that provides me with (enhanced) CPR instruction.  While I can certainly see the value in having access to potential life-saving information there is 1 key factor (outside of limited discretionary income) stopping me from making the purchase….I use a Blackberry.  Where is the love for Blackberry users?  After all, we Blackberry users still account for over 40% of the Smartphone platform market share, according to comScore

The iphone application (Pocket First Aid & CPR) that proclaimed to have saved Dan Wolley’s life and helped pull him through the earthquake in Haiti got a lot of play in the weeks following.  There have been tons of articles – retweets, blog posts, etc all creating enormous buzz for the iTunes app store and American Red Cross.  This online conversation helped move the application to its own all-time high #49 on apple’s Top 50 Paid Applications List.  This is clear evidence that word of mouth / viral / social media marketing works well and can show quick results.  However, it is not the end-all answer for getting more visibility for your iphone application.  According to a recent article, “that bump may be short-lasted; as of Jan. 27, it has fallen back to No. 76, and sales seem to be on their way back down.”  Unless there are plans to capitalize on the buzz created around this app, we can expect to see its popularity decline, along with the overall drop in web search query volume relative to the earthquake in Haiti.  Google Insights for search illustrates this point below in charting the Worldwide search query popularity for the phrase “Haiti iphone”.

While the iphone and Android Smartphone provide allow developers to use more bells and whistles, the adoption of these devices is still taking hold.   If you have application development on your radar for 2010, be sure your plans include existing customers and visitors to your website.  Many of your existing / potential customers may be limited by service providers in their area, added expense of upgrading a device, ongoing monthly expense, etc.  To see which devices your customers and prospects have been using to access your website, tap into Google Analytics Mobile Reports.  Refer to Emily McNair’s post, titled Mobile App Considerations, for other key items to think about in developing mobile applications.

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