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When it comes to innovation, look to the non-profits. When you're short of marketing megabucks, necessity can be the mother of some pretty interesting inventions. Consider the Obama campaign, or PETA.org's fascinating forays into viral marketing.
Amnesty International UK has just announced a new initiative that takes into account a factor that's huge in email marketing, but little used in social media: timing. At 1:10 p.m. on Friday, they're asking supporters to drop a coordinated social media bomb to raise awareness about violence against women in the UK.
Why Friday, why 1:10, you ask? Relevance. Friday March 6 is International Womens Day, and one in ten is the ratio of women in Britain who are victims of rape or violence.
A recent study by Netpop Research serves to only further assert the fact that social media is rapidly changing the way brands operate, due to the increase of consumer control.
The report is purely US-based, but it certainly seems fair to suggest that this trend can be applied globally, as there is an ever-growing permeation of social media into daily consumer life. The study concludes that there is a shift in consumer internet usage from entertainment towards communication, and it's being driven by social media and networking sites.
It's hard to say that Rupert Murdoch's $550m acquisition of MySpace in 2005 wasn't a savvy move. Last year alone, despite missing revenue targets, MySpace pulled in more revenue than Murdoch paid to acquire the popular social network.
But all does not appear to be well at the world's second-largest social network. Despite the fact that under News Corp., MySpace has become the best-monetized social network, it has lost significant ground amongst consumers. Last year Facebook surpassed it as the world's largest social network and it's poised to become the largest social network in the United States as well, a country that MySpace had previously dominated.
Greg Jackson is Executive director and responsible for online strategy for Tangent PLC, whose recent clients have included Borders and the Labour Party.
Tangent has recently been working with the Labour Party, revamping its website, and developing LabourList, a blog / social media site, as well as promoting the party via sites like Facebook and Twitter.
I have been talking to Greg about Labour's use of social media, as well as the company's work launching Borders' first e-commerce site in the UK...
Last week I wrote about Facebook's latest privacy flub which involved a change to the Facebook terms of service that didn't go over too well with Facebook users and the media.
In response to this, Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg issued his standard apology. But that apparently wasn't enough.
Alex Cameron is the leader of a community of young British film makers which is asking the general public to contribute online to the costs of making their film 'Michael's Resignation' in return for a share of any profits made from the film.
I've been talking to Alex about the project, which has made use of social media sites like Facebook to attract talent, promote, and even write the script for the film, and the challenges he has had in getting the project together...
Matthew Yeomans is the founder of Custom Communications and has worked in journalism for the last fifteen years. He is currently Managing Director at social media agency Radar DDB.
I have been talking to Matthew about the difficulties involved in social media measurement, and social media in general...
Twitter's all the rage right now. In social media and digital marketing circles, Twitter seems to be taking over the world.
I have a different perspective: it's not. For all of Twitter's growth, I believe it has yet to achieve what it needs to achieve to become a viable marketing platform for businesses.
Facebook is on top of the world. Its continued growth is nothing short of amazing and it now has over 175m members worldwide. It's adding 600,000 each day.
Of course, Facebook has yet to turn its popularity into the type of revenue it needs to thrive long-term but if there's one thing that could bring Facebook down, it's not revenue. It's privacy.
In December 2005, ITV purchased social networking pioneer Friends Reunited for £120m plus an earn-out of £55m. At the time, Friends Reunited had 46m registered users, an impressive number that made the husband-and-wife creation one of the largest social networks in the world.
As competing social networks like Bebo and Facebook gained prominence, Friends Reunited stuck to a subscription model. And despite losses in users and traffic, the service pulled in £22m in 2007, making up a hefty chunk of ITV's online revenue.
Just how much was Facebook willing to pay to settle the lawsuit alleging that founder Mark Zuckerberg had stolen the concept and some code from fellow Harvard classmates Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra?
That was the $64m question that appeared would never be answered given the secrecy around the settlement.
If you haven't already had to grapple with whether or not you should friend your Mom, you may well be facing that conundrum soon.
Women over 55 are the fastest-growing demographic on the social network, their ranks swelling a jaw-dropping 175.3 percent since late September, according to InsideFacebook.
Overall, users over 26 comprise the fastest-growing segment on the social network -- originally geared at college students, remember? Forty-five percent of Facebook's 45.3 million active US users are 26 years old or older.
Teens, meanwhile, comprise less than 12 percent of registered users.
While registration rates continue to rise in all demographics, there are almost double the number of 55+ women on Facebook than their male counterparts.