Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Diversity in Social Networking Sites

Coming from the UK, and being immersed in mainly British & American online culture, it's easy to see social networking as a being represented in the main by MySpace, Facebook & Bebo.

However, in looking at top social networks for 15-24s by country for a client yesterday, it was surprising to see how much variety there is by market. Yes, I knew that Skyrock was top in France, and Orkut in Brazil, but it's the level of differences in the top 5 in each case.

(In this my definition for a social network is that it is primarily for connecting people, rather than for blogging or content. So Facebook is, but Windows Live Spaces, Flickr and YouTube aren't. I've also left off dating sites. clearly there are some grey areas in this - comments please!)

For example:

UK - Bebo, Facebook, MySpace, Piczo & Faceparty
France - Skyrock, Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, Netlog
Germany - Studivz, MySpace, Netlog, Facebook, Hi5
Italy - Badoo, Netlog, Dada, MySpace, Hi5
Spain - Fotolog, Metroflog, MySpace, Sonico, Hi5
Russia - Vkontakte, Vspomni, MySpace, Privet, Buzznet
US - MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Classmates, Imeem

MySpace is unique in appearing in all of the top 5 lists, but there is incredible diversity, and as with lots of media, people like their indigenous services.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Saatchi Online - a Social Network for Artists

I'm currently reading The $12 Million Stuffed Shark, by Don Thompson, a book all about the modern art market. It's very good, and helps to explain the incredibly high prices paid for modern art works.

The chapter about Charles Saatchi is very illuminating, but also led me to the website for the Saatchi Gallery.

Two sections of the site make this a social network for artists:

In the Your Gallery section, artists can create a profile and then upload art for others to see. Visitors can then check out the works, and get in touch with the artists by either email, or chat. About 40 are online as I write.

The Stuart (student art - geddit?) section is for current students, and has the same features as the gallery section.

Elsewhere, for younger artists there's a schools section to allow pupils to upload their work.

& the Showdown section is like a Hot or Not for artwork.

This is an excellent site (I've hardly touched the surface of what you can do), free to use, and a really good place to go to both explore and look for art to buy.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Further to my last post on Facebook's Lexicon, Simon McDermott from Attentio has just sent me a link to a very nice looking beta of their Trendpedia blog monitoring tool.

This allows you to search for mentions of specific terms in blogs and other social media, with nice example on the American Presidential hopefuls, and this for 3 spring movies.

The Attentio tool lets you look at the posts behind the line, and also has advanced searching options, like 'Mercedes AND car'.

& as a point of comparison with Lexicon, here is the blog chart for Juno and Cloverfield.

Facebook Lexicon

One of the issues with tracking social media (AKA blog monitoring) is that most of the companies can't incorporate what people are saying on social networks into their results.

This is important because in the UK and many other markets social networks like Facebook have far higher reach, and are likely to have greater influence, than blogs. (To complicate things Google won't let you see the relative number of people who go to - blog writers - compared to - blog readers - within tracking tools like comScore. But I digress).

Lexicon is a new tool from Facebook that lets you see the pattern of wall mentions for different terms. It looks very similar to Nielsen's Blogpulse, and allows you to compare different terms over time periods, to see what people are talking about.

A couple of examples - Christmas, New Year, and Easter.

& from this I'd guess that Juno is going to be more popular on DVD than Cloverfield:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Quiz Question - who owns the URL

Answer - I Can't Believe It's Not Butter

The site also features this very good online game show, which you play against a minimum of 2 other players from around the world. Presented by John O'Hurley, the man who played J Peterman on Seinfeld.

(& this is a staggering fact that I discovered: John I'Hurley is now one of the investors in the real J Peterman Catalog company.
"Bankrate: You became one of the investors who brought the J. Peterman catalog company back to life after it filed for bankruptcy. How did that happen?
John O'Hurley: Because of the parody on Seinfeld, John Peterman and I were kind of joined at the wrists and ankles. And he called me up one day, and said do you want to do this together, and he was able to buy back all the intellectual rights from the controlling company at the time, and the name, and he and I put the company back together with a few investors. He and I now own it together and making a very good go of it and turning a profit even in the first year.")

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The World's Biggest Mexican Wave

I love the simplicity of this idea - get people to upload their own Mexican wave to add to the world's biggest Mexican Wave video.

Produced by BT and FON to publicise the world's biggest mobile commuity, it's a nice update on the Nike Soccer Chain from 2006.

Monday, April 14, 2008

3 Mobile USB Dongle

The good people at 3Mobilebuzz kindly sent me a USB Dongle to play with last week.

You may have seen them in the shops, and it's a very cool piece of technology. Essentially the size of an old style iPod Shuffle, and with a little tray for the 3Mobile sim card. Once you've put that together, you connect it to your laptop, and you can use broadband wherever you want.

Living in London it was a minor challenge finding places without free WiFi, but I can confirm that it works very well both on Clapham Common and on the buss going up Oxford Street. Basically it works whereever your phone will work.

3Mobile are doing this as a way of promoting their new half price broadband package. If you use 3Mobile for your phone contract you can get a half price 18 or 24 month mobile broadband package.

Click on the link and read the terms - as I say the mobile broadband dongle is incredibly cool, and if you're a keen out and about user it could be just the offer for you.

We Know The Truth Talk Radio on GTA4

I'm struggling to keep up the with blogging at the moment because there's so much great stuff out there at them moment, but I had to post this immediately.

Here is a preview of the radio stations available in in-car entertainment in the new Grand Theft Auto -

I particularly like the Talk Radio option WKTT - We Know The Truth. Excellent parody, and great to see them bringing comedy (I'm sure it is comedy) into the game

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Doritos UK TV Ad Competition

Doritos in the UK have just announced a competition to create a new TV ad for them, and win £20,000.

5 entries will be shosen by a panel of the great and the good at Doritos, and then it's up to the site users to decide which one is the overall winner.

All the details are on their site here - including rules, assets that you can use (music that is cleared for copyright, for example), and examples for inspiration etc.

They're also mobilising their community on Facebook for it, here.

& see some examples uploaded to YouTube here - so far there are 85 entries. Competition closes on the 18th of May, so get weaving. It's good to see people putting the effort in for what is a pretty impressive prize!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

In Praise of Food Blogs

As I've written before, I believe that the best bloggers are food bloggers. As a group, other groups of bloggers (political, comms, fashion) cannot match them for dedication, variety, passion and readability. & the photos!

Take a look at a selection from the food blog blog

How can you resist blogs with names like The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, Candy Addict, Recipe Maven, Erin's Easy Eats, or The Cotswold Food Year?

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Novelty Curve

My new favourite chart: The Novelty Curve - via this article about Twitter

Note - this also applies to your former favourite bands and authors, learning the guitar etc.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools Viral Compendium

A few of these around today, including:

Virgle - Virgin and Google programme to select pioneers to populate Mars. Have a look around the site - lots to see and do

BBC Penguins for the iPlayer

Energy Wasting Day - Watch the film, and then click on any link

YouTube RickRoll - all videos on the homepage of the UK YouTube direct through to Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up - User name here

3G iPhone revealed by CNET (Rick Rolling seems to be very 'in' this year!)
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