January 07, 2008 | Greg Ness: Social Networks, Email and Privacy

With all the buzz around more sophisticated social networks such as Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn, its easy to lose sight of the fact that if you believe in Metcalfe’s Law—a network’s value is proportional to the square of its users—venerable email is still the biggest social network of all. As Max Kalehoff points out at Online Spin, email is “the mother of all social networks” with 91 percent of people ages 18 to 64 utilizing the medium.

Even though many pundits would point out that younger generations eschew email in favor of IM, text messaging and other more personal networking means, Max argues that as this younger generation enters the work force, email, by the nature of its widespread adoption, is a de rigueur social network in the business world. He also adds almost all social networks still use a person’s email address as the main hub for identification and widespread communication needs. Email may be a more “stuffy” way to communicate than those who use today’s social networks prefer, but email has reached critical ubiquity, and at least it provides a firewall on most personal data.

Lately, concern has also arisen over how much power these social networking companies possess and who owns the personal data that resides on their servers and websites (see Scoble’s posts Disabled and Erased). Doc Searls also has an interesting take on the Scoble/Facebook issue over at the Linux Journal (Dependence vs. Independence). So does B.L. Ochman (Data Ownership and Portability) .

January 06, 2008 | Greg Ness: Doc Just Posted A SlideShare of The Cluetrain Manifesto

Doc Searls just posted a SlideShare presentation (embedded below) with the 95 Theses of the Cluetrain Manifesto (Doc was one of the authors). Every time I read their theses, I am amazed at how prescient they were in 1999 seeing what was ahead, and what now is, in many cases, fact.

January 06, 2008 | Greg Ness: UK Online Advertising Will Top TV Advertising in 2009

According to WPP’s media operation Group M, online advertising will overtake television advertising in the UK in 2009. They also predict this will happen in Sweden this year. The report makes no prediction on when, or if, Internet advertising might overtake television in the U.S.

Group M forecasts the following media growth globally in 2008:

January 05, 2008 | Greg Ness: New Google Presentations Feature

More information here.

January 04, 2008 | Greg Ness: High-Def DVD War Over? Warner Goes With Blu-ray.

imageI wanted to buy a high-definition DVD player this holiday season. I was getting tired of how long it was taking my cable provider and the various networks to make the switch to more HDTV programming, so I thought at least with a Blu-ray or an HD DVD player, I could get my pixels worth on our TV watching movies in an HD format.

At the store, I looked at the movies that are now available in high-def, but was disappointed to find there were many titles I wanted that were only available in one format or the other. Then I looked at the players. Yikes…I thought I heard the prices had come down, but both Blu-ray and HD DVD players were still in the $400 range. Sticker shock. Not wanting to plunk down $400 on the losing platform (not to mention the cost of the movies), I left the store disappointed without making a purchase.

January 03, 2008 | Lon Keller: Web 2.0 Defined

What do you look for in a Web 2.0 website?  Our first panel of 2008 gives their opinion of what it takes to be 2.0, and looks ahead to the future of Web 3.0.

Start your new year right with a fresh episode of Sundog: The Podcast!  Subscribe today!

January 02, 2008 | Jason Gibb: Better Benchmarks Mean a Faster Web

Last month the WebKit team, maintainers of the Web browser engine behind Safari and the iPhone, released a new set of JavaScript benchmarks called SunSpider. Unlike some other technical benchmarks, these provide a way to compare browser performance in more practical and meaningful ways.

January 02, 2008 | Greg Ness: 2008 A Breakout Year For SaaS

No matter whose IT predictions you look at for 2008, software as a service (SaaS) looms big. For those not familiar with this term, SaaS is software that customers do not pay to own. Rather, it is an on-demand system usually hosted through a third party and customers access the software’s applications via the Internet.

The SaaS model has seen tremendous growth in the last few years primarily because it is easier and costs less to implement than large enterprise systems that reside on a company’s own servers. Some fast-growing SaaS vendors include companies such as, RightNow, and NetSuite, but there are many companies charging hard to catch-up in this sector including software giants Microsoft and Oracle.

There are a number of stories that have surfaced in the last few months indicating SaaS has reached a crucial tipping point, and 2008 may be the year that it begins its breakout to become the norm for most companies:

January 01, 2008 | Greg Ness: 6 + 2 New Year’s Resolutions for CMOs

I was looking at some past posts, and came across this one I published on January 1, 2006. Wow, time flies, but what struck me was how appropriate these six marketing resolutions still remain for 2008. So here they are again in the hope they will help you make a substantial impact on your company’s marketing efforts. I’ve also added a seventh and eighth resolution given other changes over the last two years. In addition, there are some updated links that support these resolutions.

1. Measure everything you do. Your credibility is on the line. Management used to cut marketing and advertising a lot of slack. They used to buy the line that some things in marketing are difficult to measure, or that even if you could measure results, you would need long-term tracking studies to see how brand awareness scores had increased.

Management isn’t buying it any more and they shouldn’t. People in the marketing loop need to demonstrate what all those precious company resources are producing for the bottom line. Your job as a CMO is either contributing to profit or overhead: take your pick.

Marketing measurement is a relatively new science in the Internet age and one that requires a great deal of expertise, experience and deep resources to implement. An Excel spreadsheet may help, but it’s not the answer…especially if you have a complex sales cycle.

2. Replace reach with relevancy. In the mass media era (now long past its prime), advertising itself was expensive. You had to buy reach. You had to buy frequency. Guess what? People, by now, have had way too much practice avoiding or tuning out messages that aren’t relevant to them. At best, they’ll ignore your ads. At worst, you’ll annoy them.

December 31, 2007 | Ron Lee: 2008: Year of the virtual world for kids?

Move over Second Life. Kid-focused virtual worlds such as Club Penguin, Webkinz, and a string of site start-ups loom as the new and hot Web playgrounds for 2008. image

December 31, 2007 | Greg Ness: User-Generated Online Content Is Way Up—Teens Lead The Way

According to a State of the Media Democracy 2007 study recently complete by Deloitte, user-generated content is in big demand on the Web. Over 50 percent of adults now report watching or reading online content created by other Web users including blogs and streaming video. Among Millennials (those ages 13 - 24), that figure rises to 71 percent.

In addition, the study states over 40 percent of all consumers are now creating online content (videos, photos, blogs, etc) for themselves or others. The study also said the traditional media such as TV, magazines and books remain “deeply engaging” to most consumers with 72 percent of respondents reporting they still read print magazines even if those magazines are available online.