Tag Archives: social media

Associated’s Sunday tabloid could be based on the Mail Online website

Media Week had the story last week that DMGT’s Associated Newspapers was working on a Sunday tabloid to step in to the vacuum left by the closure of the News of the World.

Rumours now emerge that this red top newspaper could be based on the Daily Mail’s s hugely popular, celebrity centric, Mail Online website, which bears only a passing resemblance to its print sister. Read more on Associated’s Sunday tabloid could be based on the Mail Online website…

Microsoft OfficeTalk – can it crack microblogging?

Plenty of reports kicking today about Microsoft’s plans to launch a microblogging service called OfficeTalk that looks very similar to Twitter, which is it aiming at the enterprise market.

ReadWriteWeb reports that Microsoft is testing OfficeTalk for the enterprise market and apparently it will offer it as an “on-premise service”.

It says that OfficeTalk is being developed by Microsoft’s OfficeLabs, which test internally developed ideas, and quotes the software giant saying “the OfficeTalk microblogging experience itself looks very similar to other well-known services”.

Microsoft is already opening the test up to firms that want to join the pilot programme. There are a few screen shots up on the Microsoft site where you can see user profiles and how people post… in 140 characters or less. Very much like Twitter in how you read messages of those you follow and find people.

It will be interesting to see if it can find a slice of the microblogging market in the enterprise market.

While media and tech companies have widely adopted Twitter internally (like Sky News and its use of Tweetdeck), I’m not sure many businesses, some of which have banned staff from social networking sites like Facebook at work, will immediately feel they want to jump onboard unless someone spells out the immediate benefit. Twitter has succeeded as it is great at building internal communities and I could for instance see internal groups organising projects around something like OfficeTalk, but is that enough? I’m not sure it is.

Microsoft says it has employed internally and has had over 10,000 visitors and hundreds of messages posted daily.

“We’re now making OfficeTalk available to a few customers in a small pilot test. Because this is an early-stage concept, the OfficeTalk microblogging experience itself looks very similar to other well-known services. The key difference is that the enterprise owns the data since the OfficeTalk server is hosted in the customer’s organization. We will be releasing updates periodically to test more of the ideas we’re thinking about. Stay tuned.”

Read more on Microsoft OfficeTalk – can it crack microblogging?…

Facebook revenues could hit $2bn in 2010

Facebook is showing its juggernaut potential according to a piece in the Wall Street Journal which says revenues could hit as much as $2bn in 2010.

The long piece in the WSJ projects revenues in the range of $1.2 to $2bn. This is even more than the blog Inside Facebook was reporting. Earlier this week it had said “sources estimate the company could make between $1 billion and $1.1 billion in total revenue this year”.

Read more on Facebook revenues could hit $2bn in 2010…

Google still wants to buy Twitter

Interesting post on Techcrunch about why Google launched Google Buzz: to give it leverage as it still wants to buy Twitter.

Cast your mind back to last spring when the rumours were kicking around that Google wanted to own Twitter. It didn’t happen and nothing came of the story.

A year down the line and Techcrunch argues buying Twitter and owning a large slice of the real time market is still at the fore of Google’s agenda. That is what the blog post says Buzz is about. Google has launched it in the hope that it will gain traction, strengthen its hand and bring Twitter back to the table allowing it to snap it up for a few dollars less than it might have paid otherwise. 

Read more on Google still wants to buy Twitter…

How Twitter phishing can be good for you (seriously)

What a week, horny 24-year olds, people exchanging pictures and free shares – yes that was the week that was on Twitter as phishing scams ran riot across the social network. It’s been such fun.

No really, I know people say that phishing is bad and that people are trying to steal your identity to do dastardly things (all true), but as long as you speedily change your password you should in most cases be fine.

That aside it turns out that there is a massive plus side to phishing scams: it actually acts as a prompt to reconnect with people – yes to social network. Who would have thought it, but it seems that sometimes you need a little wake-up call to make those connections. Go figure.

Read more on How Twitter phishing can be good for you (seriously)…

Yahoo chases social media with Twitter deal

Yahoo! is making a bid for social media relevance by getting closer to Twitter. The troubled search firm says it plans to go further than Google or Bing and do more than add Twitter to search results.

I have no idea if this will pan out for Yahoo. But what is clear is that Twitter is an integral part of Yahoo’s plan to turn itself into a social media hub so that anyone with a Yahoo! ID can update multiple social networks simultaneously. There is talk of deals with MySpace and LinkedIn as well. They are throwing it all in.

There are clear parallels with Google and its efforts to socialise itself with Google Buzz (while we are on Buzz why did Google choose that name when Yahoo already has Yahoo Buzz?). Both search firms want the search traffic, but they want more than that: they want the social media engagement as well. They want to put themselves at the centre of your (yes you) social media universe.

Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president, consumer products group, Yahoo! couldn’t be any clearer about this:

“We’re turning the key to the online social universe — you will find the most personally relevant experiences through Yahoo. We’re also simplifying people’s lives by bringing their social worlds — and the world — together for easy access.”

Yahoo! has already tied with Facebook and the Twitter deal, which will see Yahoo! pay undisclosed millions to the microblogging firm, should be done by December.

So what exactly Yahoo! planning with its 140 character deal? Well in the press release announcing the deal Yahoo says the partnership it says it includes three primary elements:

1) People will be able to access their personal Twitter feeds across Yahoo!’s many products and properties, including the homepage, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Sports, and others, letting them check in more easily on what’s happening with the people and things they care about while on Yahoo!.

2) People will be able to update their Twitter status and share content from Yahoo! in their Twitter stream, so they can easily share their Yahoo! experiences with their friends and followers on Twitter.

3) Yahoo! Search and Yahoo! media properties like News, Finance, Entertainment, and Sports will include real-time public Twitter updates across a variety of topics. Yahoo! Search users will immediately see real-time Twitter results today; go to Yahoo! and try it out.

One question that crops up is this: what does this mean for Twitter money making plans? Sure it is getting cash for its data, but Yahoo!, Bing and Google are doing these deals because they think they can monetize it around their advertising.

Yahoo is clear in its release about this issue. It says that it will use the Twitter integration to “drive deeper user engagement, and create new and compelling opportunities for developers, advertisers, and publishers”.

See all about money. Twitter is working on an own ad platform of its own and Anamitra Banerji, head of monetization at Twitter, has told the US IAB that “he is concerned that some of the external Twitter ad platforms may be doing damage to the Twitter experience”. Yeah, that and future revenues.

There is a weird schizophrenic thing going on at Twitter. It needs to make money as it grows and burns cash and it is doing that with these partnerships, but clearly there is a concern within Twitter itself of how these deals might “damage” its own efforts to generate cash.

There is an awful lot riding on Twitter. It’s own hopes of expansion and also those of rivals. For Yahoo! this socialisation feels like a chance to regain relevance. Although as someone who never uses it I’m really not sure how that is going to pan out.

Read more on Yahoo chases social media with Twitter deal…

Advertisers fight it out for YouTube’s homepage

Wow things have really moved on for YouTube. One time advertisers had little interest in the video sharing site and now they are fighting to own the video site’s homepage, which means a profit ahead as revenues leap.

Advertisers used to be worried about being associated with some of the inappropriate content that you can find on YouTube. Not it seems anymore according to this Adage piece.

YouTube’s home page sold out in the fourth quarter and film studios are now biding for space on what is a prime piece of video real estate to promote their latest movies.

Lionsgate and Twentieth Century Fox are among the studios that have embraced it. And what they have embraced is a site that is estimated to be serving as many as 1 billion videos per day.

Twentieth Century Fox bought the YouTube homepage in 15 countries for ‘Avatar’ to drive traffic for the trailer. Well something worked (clearly being a mega budget 3-D extravaganza helps).

Last week alone YouTube’s advertising partners accounted for 44.7% of the views among the top 100 videos, compared to 36.3% six months ago. That’s quite a change.

The piece quotes YouTube Ad Director Shishir Mehrotra, saying: “When I took this job a year and a half ago, people kept asking ‘What is going to be the equivalent of the Google text ad for YouTube?’. What we realized is there is no one ad format for video, because consumers come to YouTube to do different things.”

The piece makes a very good point in comparing it to MySpace circa 2006. Everyone talked about MySpace being the place where entertainment advertisers went. That was only a year after Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace for $580m. Now it’s worth…oh way less. Is it on a road to profit? Well it is on a road at least.

YouTube seems to have triumphed even as the market has become more competitive with the likes of Hulu and others taking a share of its market. It has been helped by more and more professional content being uploaded onto the service much by media companies and advertisers who have become adept at establishing their own channels.

What does all this mean in hard numbers? Well last month All Things Digital reported Barclays analyst Douglas Anmuth saying that YouTube will see a revenue jump of 55% to $700m in 2010 and that it will “start contributing positively” to the Google’s earnings. I think that means the long road profit has almost been reached.

Read more on Advertisers fight it out for YouTube’s homepage…

Bloggers are "liggers with laptops" say fashionisatas

London Fashion Week is here and fashion journalists and PRs are unhappy with an influx of bloggers who are taking the best seats at the show, contributing little and are says one journalist little more than “liggers with laptops”. Yes it is handbags at dawn.

That pretty much describes some journalists, but let’s skip that for a moment. The Times has a piece today chronicling the surge of the fashion bloggers. At last year’s London Fashion Week 22% of press accreditation went to bloggers. This year it is 33%. Hold on to your tiaras.

According to The Times “some bloggers are prepared to resort to any means — fair or foul — to gain admittance”. Sacrebleu!

One unnamed blogger turned up at a show and claimed to be from Harper’s Bazaar before being turned out and stuck back in the cheap seats. A “seasoned journalist” complained about seeing a 16-year-old girl who’d previously been on work experience on her title seated in the front row because of her connection to a blog. The poor professional journalists was seated several rows back.

Wow. I’m full of respect for that 16-year old. Making it to the front row of a major fashion show clearly takes some rocks. Good for her.

Another glossy magazine reporter told The Times: “Look, some of the bloggers are brilliant but a lot of them are liggers with laptops.”

Get over yourself. Seriously, I know a lot of journalists and they (okay we) love freebies. Who doesn’t. Books, music, film, flights, festivals, gigs and restaurants all paid by some PR who bills their client. Sometimes absolutely nothing gets written. Is that ligging?

Personally I get slightly embarrassed and do my very best to get something written (honest). I swear on a week long trip to Jordan I was the only journalists to write any copy while there. On trip to New York likewise, but I have also flown to San Francisco several times and produced next to nothing. That’s the way it goes and it doesn’t always go to press.

Someone described as an influential PR complains that “if you read some of these blogs, they are just cut-and-pasting each other; they don’t use their access to say anything original” — although no blogs are named/shamed.

Not sure I entirely believe that. Blogs are about original comment and content (but not always) and most bloggers have a take on whatever it is they write about. Their influence is growing in every field.

I wrote recently about press accreditation being given to political bloggers giving them access to Parliament and some of the fears that move excites.

Where ever there is a traditional media there are bloggers. They have gone mainstream. Their skill is not just in producing original “commtent” (yes horrible fake word) it is also in being fast. A blog can get coverage of an event up online far quicker than many traditional journalists seem able.

Their entrance into more and more parts of daily media life is bound to upset some and no more so it seems than the rarefied world of fashion.

Burberry chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, though has a different take and one that looks to the future. He is known “to be at the forefront of technological innovations and the use of new media”. That’s one of the reasons behind Burberry getting together with Sky to produce this week’s live 3D broadcast — a first for a fashion show.

He says it is important to give bloggers the respect that they deserve. “They have a very articulate way of expressing their opinion. The difference between bloggers and traditional press is bloggers are often talking directly to a final consumer.”

Read more on Bloggers are "liggers with laptops" say fashionisatas…

Google not a challenger to Twitter or Facebook (says Google)

Here’s a confession. I haven’t looked at Google Buzz for like a week. Then I read this story about Google saying that Buzz is absolutely not a rival to Twitter or Facebook. Got it?

In an interview with eWeek Bradley Horowitz, vice president of product management for Google, says that Buzz is not just about what he called “status-casting” or “just checking in”. He said it was meant for a place of “meaningful interactions around meaningful topics within Buzz”.

I could see that happening. But to be honest I haven’t yet. Finding the time is a real issue. It is increasingly THE social media issue as Buzz competes for our time. I mean if I Buzzed this right now I might not get around to tweeting it?. I would forget, move on, and more to the point get distracted. Also I want to share it with as many people as possible and not just my email contacts (my mum and sister have no interest).

Horowitz argues that he is hearing again and again that those meaningful interactions he mentions (“that kind of value proposition”) are “unique to Buzz”.

“In the realm of positive feedback, I think that people are finding that the conversational mode of buzz is very, very powerful and the quality of audience is also great.”

Really? Well, if you say so, but for most of us that remains to be seen, but what Horowitz is clear about in the interview is that Buzz is not designed as a Facebook or Twitter killer but rather Buzz is filling a niche for something that is not already in the market and creating a “unique” space.

“[Buzz is] absolutely not [a Facebook or Twitter killer]. This is creating a new category of communication. It’s filling a niche, which is not currently met in the market. I think something unique is happening on Buzz that will continue to evolve. It’s hard to create a trend line or extrapolate too much from six days of use, but certainly conversation and the conversational web is a place where Buzz has excelled. I think it is unique and offers a compelling, interesting experience.”

Horowitz also gave a few stats and said that Buzz was attracting around 200 posts per minute from users posting content from their mobile phones. Good numbers indeed.

Google Buzz seems to have ridden out the privacy row, but I wonder how much people will be talking about it in a month or two months time, you know, when the buzz has died down.

Read more on Google not a challenger to Twitter or Facebook (says Google)…

Twitter traffic leaps putting paid to growth critics

He wasn’t making it up at all. Last month Twitter co-founder Evan Williams hit back at claims of falling usage and this week the stats are in the Twitter’s traffic has taken a leap.

Williams made his comments after a bunch of posts suggested a falloff, but since that things have only looked up for Twitter. He said Twitter’s growth was going to pick up and he wasn’t wrong, according to new ComScore traffic figures.

ComScore data shows that the number of unique visitors to Twitter jumped by around 9% between December and January to 21.79 million, which is an all time high.

Read more on Twitter traffic leaps putting paid to growth critics…

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