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Today comScore released the results of an interesting study that clearly identifies social networking environments as great places to advertise for leisure products and apparel. If you have ever wondered whether social marketing was worthwhile then this study should pique your interest.

A Facebook press release announced the following today:

Starting tomorrow (Weds), we are making limited public search listings available to people who are not logged in to Facebook. A public search listing provides, at most, the name and profile picture of any Facebook member that has their search privacy settings set to “Everyone”. It will show less information about a person than results of a search performed by someone logged in to Facebook. We wanted to give people who had never come to Facebook, or who are not currently registered, the opportunity to discover their friends who are on Facebook.

The news has caused a bit of an uproar from Facebook fans concerned about their privacy. In my opinion the risks are extremely low with the minimal amount of information provided but it is a vastly smart move for this popular social media website. Why is it a smart move? By opening the gates to spiders Facebook will amplify its impressive footprint by allowing search engine users to discover Facebook while they search for specific people. This all ads up to a hell of a lot more market share in the social media web space which is sure to make an IPO all the more tantalizing for investors.

One thing is for sure… Facebook nay sayers should definitely take a step back and reconsider their standpoint because I am in good company believing that Facebook is poised to be the Google of social media.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.

Read/WriteWeb, one of my favorite blogs, just posted an interesting article on a new site called Wikirage; a site that shows what topics are the most trendy (popular) at Wikipedia.

How Does Wikirage Work?
Wikipedia’s detailed traffic statistics are not available to the public so Craig Wood, the creator of Wikirage cleverly leveraged the editing statistics that are open to the public to create his statistics. As a result, Wikirage creates its popularity index by identifying the top 100 pages within Wikipedia that have received the most updates; a relatively accurate indication of the topics that are driving current trends.

Other Great Trend Resources

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Celebrating 10 Years of Web Marketing Excellence
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Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

Is Wikipedia Corrupt?

Responses to my previous posting called “How to Ethically Update Wikipedia” have been incredibly polarized and I felt it was important I provide some visibility to the ethical issues and ramifications faced by an immensely influential volunteer-run organization like Wikipedia.

First a Little Background
My July 17th posting was based on an excellent article published at Search Engine Land called “SEO Tips & Tactics from a Wikipedia Insider” written by a Wikipedia Administrator with the pseudonym Durova. My post summarized a few of the unethical Wikipedia listings that Durova had noticed throughout her time at Wikipedia and how Wikipedia responded to each situation. I was very impressed by Durova’s article and how transparent the process appeared to be.
Read more…

Today Microsoft earned a win that made me look twice by convincing Digg to sign a 3 year deal where Microsoft Ads will be the “exclusive provider of display and contextual advertising on Digg” (see press release). Having previously used Google Adsense to serve ads (according to Barry Schwartz’s breaking article) it is a huge win for Microsoft to peg this contract. This immensity of this win became especially clear when I compared a few of the top social media voting sites side by side at Compete.com. As you can see below Digg pulverizes the competition with a reach of approximately 22.5 million visitors per month in comparison to Reddit (976,882), and StumbleUpon (731,424).

Charts or no charts, however you look at this agreement advertising with Microsoft Ads has just become a lot more tantalizing.

This post at Search Engine Journal references a social media project at Carnegie Mellon called Socialstream which, among other things, was created to “rethink and reinvent social networking”. Of even more interest is this capstone project is Google-sponsored which means many of these features are likely to be utilized in a future Google property.

Socialstream is based on a unified social networking concept in that it interfaces with a wide array of social media accounts to make networking simpler and more interactive. The Quicktime Demo of Socialstream’s functionality revealed some incredibly useful tools that simplify networking a large number of people. The Socialstream features page does show highlights of the program but actually seeing the product at work in the demo was far more revealing. Read more…

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Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007

Social Media News of the Day

A new social media website called Thoof has recently come out of beta. Thoof is similar to Digg but features a couple of interesting differences:

  1. Titles and Descriptions for content added to Thoof can be updated by users to make them more useful. This is particularly handy since some titles and descriptions are horridly written despite the excellent source content.
  2. Thoof uses an algorithm to ‘learn’ what you like and don’t like which ultimately drives the type of content that appears on your personalized Thoof home page. Read more…

SEO Meet SMM (Social Media Marketing) was the most information-dense seminar that I attended at SMX Advanced, a multi-day conference geared for advanced web marketing professionals. As a result, it has taken a while to view my footage and pick out all of the best tips to share with you. The SEO Meet SMM seminar was paneled with an all-star cast of Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel and Cindy Krum. Between these three incredibly bright people, and my own experience and research I have put together this whitepaper on how to use social media marketing (SMM) to your advantage. I believe this is the most current (timely), accurate and cutting edge information available for those who want to start marketing in this field. Read more…

I have been hard at work writing a white paper that we will be releasing today on do it yourself social media marketing. As a result, my blogs have been rather infrequent – my apologies. Here, however, is a quick list of some of the articles that have piqued my interest over this past week and I expect you will find worthy of a read as well:

Lastly her is an interesting interview with Eric Peterson, web analytics guru. Note the background noise is a little annoying.

Today Google announced that YouTube is being launched in 9 new countries in their own native languages. The countries are the UK, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, Ireland, Netherlands, and Brazil.

At the moment the roll out will provide each site with localized (country-specific) content such as featured videos, director videos, and promotions. Over time each site will feature more and more localized content as each site draws in more active participants.

This update is seen as both a necessary move from a growth perspective (why not expand into different languages?!) as well as a competitive one; some countries have their own rival brand of localized video sharing sites that, over time, could jeopardize YouTube’s entry potential if it doesn’t get its foot in the door immediately.

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