Contextualizing Your Social Networks: Reid Hoffman

Michael Arrington, who is supposed to be taking a break from blogging, has a great Davos interview with LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman.

Key takeout:

MySpace is like a bar, Facebook is like the BBQ you have in your back yard with friends and family, play games, share pictures. Facebook is much better for sharing than MySpace. LinkedIn is the office, how you stay up to date, solve professional problems.

DeWolfe Talks Up MySpace

Speaking at the Reuters Media Summit, MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe forecast advertising revenue growth in 2009. While advertising in general has slowed, he points to a continued switching trend form off to online media.

Still one of the world’s largest social networks, MySpace enjoyed an 18% year on year growth in revenue last quarter. It will indeed be impressive if they are able to keep this up.

There is growing speculation that MySpace may move towards a subscription model, something that DeWolfe does not corroborate nor does he rule it out.

He further points out that now is a good time to be contemplating acquisitions for cashed up companies (and private equity players looking to put their funds to work) as valuations are dropping off significantly.

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MySpace Taps The RIM: Record Breaking Blackberry App

Designed to help Blackberry users stay connected to the MySpace social network, a new app from the Fox Interactive company has been downloaded 400,000 times in its first week. This goes a long way towards dispelling the unhipster Blackberry myth.

A Facebook app, which launched in 2007, has been downloaded 2.5 million times.

Social Network User-Placed Videos Get Auditude With MySpace and MTV

Palo Alto-based Auditude is a startup focused on identifying videos, and parts of videos, uploaded to the web and then overlaying ads within these clips. They’ve amassed a database of over 250 million videos and 4 years of TV content and have now done a deal with MySpace and MTV that will allow these parties to monetize the videos being uploaded by MySpace users.

As MySpace’s president of sales and marketing is quoted as saying in the LA Times, “This is a game changer.”

No longer are the content players swimming against the tide – if this holds as a precedent, we should see a complete about face and some strong strokes as they all try to pull ahead in the race to monetize their content.

Open Mobile Markets: How To Drive Impetus

Open mobile platforms and markets are all the rage.

Apple generated $30m in the first month with its iStore, and has attracted a plethora of app developers of all shapes and sizes – from Electronic Arts through to start ups like Palo Alto-based Tapulous.

The first Android-powered GPhone is about to hit the streets and this means the Android market will be open for business. RIM is working on something similar and Microsoft is creating a platform for selling apps on its Windows Mobile systems called SkyMarket.

But take a closer look at the Android Market and one thing is glaringly obvious – it’s relatively deserted. Sure it’s a chicken and egg thing, but what made Facebook’s F8 platform so successful in gaining immediate impetus was the critical mass element.

Currently, only a handful of apps are ready for Android – MySpace has a basic version of its soc network ready, imeem’s Internet radio service and a number of weather related apps are the pick of the bunch.

Where is everybody? EA’s Spore, which is the best mobile game I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing would be a great marquee.

So here’s the rub. The beauty of the iPhone Store was that you could generate revenue immediately. The Android Market is currently missing that key revenue enabler – a closed commerce system.

As the number of app markets proliferates and the total addressable market mushrooms I suspect we’ll see a number of meta solutions appear. In particular meta systems that can market, track and monetize apps across all the platforms as well as tools that allow developers to code once, and release cross platform.

In the meantime, app store owners need to focus on getting traffic in the door, app developers buzzed about their platform and a monetization mechanism in place.

It’s High Time For Blogging To Embrace Social: Digital Life Aggregation

I totally agree with Om Malik’s prognostication about blogs embracing the social, lifestreaming features of services like Dopplr, Friendfeed and Twitter.

Om was writing in response to Six Apart’s release of Moveable Type Pro:

Six Apart is making the right move, for it is time for blogging to evolve…blogging is not just an act of publishing but also a communal activity. It is more than leaving comments; it is about creating connections.

He sees your personal blog acting as your digital life aggregator – an aggregation point or hub for all the various lifestreaming services or features you want to utilize wrapped or skinned with your unique identity.

The big question here is around ease of use and mass adoption. MySpace, Facebook and other services have done an incredible job in solving these two points so that anybody can very easily set up a semblance of a personalized digital life aggregator.

Does Moveable Type Pro (and hopefully soon, WordPress) go far enough in extending this metaphor for those who want to increase their independence and assert their unique identity?

In other lifestreaming news, AOL has acquired Socialthing!, which was still in private beta, and will be integrating it into the People Networks division, alongside AIM, Bebo, ICQ and others.