Archives for 11/5/2005

WhizSpark Event Management Offers Free DIY Service

WhizSpark, an online event planning and marketing system, is now offering free use of WhizSpark’s event website builder and email marketing campaign manager to qualified applicants. WhizSpark offers a variety of support services around their system. This is targeted at do-it-yourselfers, people who are experienced at planning and promoting events and have the basic web skills to put the site together with minimal support from WhizSpark.

If you’re looking for an event system that allows you to make your own branding more visible than theirs (vs. Evite), this is definitely worth checking out.

Visual Map of the Social Networking Landscape

Dave Pollard has put together an excellent visual map of the social networking landscape. He breaks it down into eight major objectives people are trying to accomplish with social networking tools:

  1. Finding people (discovering, rediscovering, or locating them)
  2. Building directories, network maps and social networks
  3. Inviting people to join your networks
  4. Managing access to your networks (“permissioning”)
  5. Connecting with people in your networks (using various media)
  6. Managing relationships across media (e.g. making the jarring transition from e-mail or weblog-based relationships to voice-to-voice or face-to-face)
  7. Collaborating with people in your networks, and
  8. Content sharing with people in your networks (and other learning, knowledge-finding and knowledge-sharing functionalities that are arguably the domain of Knowledge Management rather than Social Networking)

Of course, most sites offer some combination of these and don’t easily fall into a single category. He goes on to look at the combination of these that the major types of tools and some of the most popular sites provide, plus his list of the ten biggest problems with most existing social software tools. Great reading.

If you’re looking for categorized lists of social networking sites, he mentions Judith Meskill’s excellent SNA Meta List, but unfortunately overlooks our Directory of Online Network / Social Software Companies, which is wiki-based and allows contributions and edits by anyone who’s interested in helping us keep it up-to-date.

Blogging Isn't Always Blissful at Microsoft

Following an exposé in BusinessWeek, mystery blogger Mini-Microsoft, who is openly critical (far more than Scoble and other Microsoft bloggers) of what’s going on inside Microsoft, leapt into the spotlight, adding fuel to corporate concerns about blogging.

I certainly understand why any public company would be concerned about an anonymous employee writing a post that starts, Hey Shareholders!. On the other hand, as a shareholder, I’d want to hear this. Where’s the line? I don’t know, but I suspect this blog may be a major part of determining where it’s drawn.

MySpace Launches Record Label Amid Growing Controversy, Membership

MySpace is all over the news this week, most notably for launching the MySpace record label, which “will feature independent and unsigned artists as well as compilations that include top groups from other label.”

On the darker side, MySpace has been at the center of attention in the growing concern over internet privacy and safety. For example, in a highly controversial move, a private Catholic high school has issued a ban on blogging and online profiles, threatening students with suspension if they maintain profiles and blogs on sites like MySpace and Xanga.

Meanwhile, MySpace has surpassed AOL, Hotmail and even Google to become the #4 most-visited domain in terms of page views and is approaching 40 million members.

"Blog" Is Still Jargon

Jonathan Carson of BuzzMetrics and the Word of Mouth Marketing Association reports on new findings from Nielson regarding blog readership, confirming something we conjectured in The Virtual Handshake.

According to the Nielsen study, only 6% of the general population report that they read blogs occasionally or every day, and 60% say they’ve never even heard of a blog. The shocker, though (not to me), is that when they looked at the sites survey respondents were visiting, 13% of the people who visit blogs regularly reported that they “had never heard of blogs”. Fully 50% of blog visitors reported that they knew what a blog is, or have heard of them, but don’t read them. That means that almost 2/3 of blog readers have no idea that they’re reading this thing called a blog.

That, my friends, is why the market for blogs and the ecosystem around them is still wide open.

Forbes Blasts Blogs

Forbes’ Attack of the Blogs article is definitely the hot topic in the blogosphere this week. A Google search on “Attack of the Blogs” will provide you with ample reading material, mostly well-deserved vitriolic rants against the article.

I do, though, think that Dave Taylor’s take on it is worth reading – a contrarian view from most of the rest of the bloggers who have commented on this. I also recommend the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Free Speech vs. Bad Advice and Attack of the Printing Press to help put it in a broader context.

My take on it is best summed up by Pat, one of the commenters on Dvorak Uncensored:

The Forbes article does take a slanted view and commits the same wrong that it accuses bloggers of. The facts might be accurate in themselves, but between the lines there was a lot of missing information. That missing information does slant the article into an anti-blog statement. The opinions garnered from this article will then be re-told as heinous facts, citing only the negative.