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AOL slams the door on social networking April 8, 2010

Posted by kewroad in social networks.
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Yesterday AOL announced that it planned to sell or shut down the social networking website Bebo. The news comes a few months after the digital media giant announced that it would cut one-third of its work force in an attempt to save $300m a year.

Despite this, the move to sell Bebo, one of the top 10 social networking websites, seems surprising at a time when social media is on the rise.  However, Bebo’s global unique visitors in February totalled 12.8 million, which was down 45% on February 2009. In comparison, Facebook had 462 million visitors, MySpace nearly 110 million, and Twitter 69.5 million according to figures from ComScore. Clearly the ability to attract advertisers and ultimately revenue is becoming more difficult – one of the core reasons for the purchase at the time in many industry commentators opinions.

At the same time AOL continues to invest heavily in digital content. In March this year it bought the local US news site Patch for $50m as part of its ongoing plans to invest in local news digital content. It also acquired StudioNow Inc. , an online platform for quality video creation and distribution, which is going to be integrated into its content management system Seed.com.  The interesting concept behind Seed.com is that users can upload original photos, music and or written content and get paid a certain percentage of the profits. However, AOL retains the rights to the product which allows the company to exploit successful content across its digital media platforms or to sell distribution rights to broadcast/music/publishing companies.

This can potentially generate high revenues, especially if the company can successfully utilise its business connections with Time Warner. Following on from this, it is not surprising that AOL has decided to refocus its core business strategy on content management and creation and avoid heavy investments in the highly competitive social networking market.  The company is trying to reposition itself as a major digital content provider and it shifts its direction towards niche markets, localised information and user generated content.


GBC Spends a day at MeasurementCamp June 9, 2009

Posted by andysephton in internet, social networks.
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From the ashes of defeat a new champion often arises. 13 months ago a panel discussion on measuring the effectiveness of social media ended inconclusively.

But one member of the panel felt that this was a topic that warranted a more constructive, collaborative approach. From these humble beginnings MeasurementCamp was born a month later in a bar in Soho.

Last month , nearly a year after its creation, I attended my first MeasurementCamp, hosted by an agency near Southwark in London. Over 30 people showed up and enjoyed the free tea, coffee and excellent chocolate brownies before getting their teeth into the issues of how to measure the effectiveness of social media and use this new media channel to their best advantage. With representatives from marketing, PR, advertising, charities and much more, this diverse group of professionals provided unique insights into this area of the world of media.

The level of knowledge sharing was rare and refreshing, organising the event through a wiki inspired and the knowledge gained from the session invaluable. If social media has the power to bring together a group of, essentially, competing professionals and encourage them to share knowledge in such an open forum it has more potential than many of us realise.

I for one plan to become a regular MeasurementCamper and hope to see some of you there in the future and don’t worry if London is a bit far afield for you, MeasuermentCamp Dublin is up and running and MeasurementCamp USA is on its way.

UK Newspaper opens up for Web 2.0 Revolution March 10, 2009

Posted by suegrant46 in new media.
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guardianAs the newspaper industry goes  through turmoil, there’s  one newspaper which seems to be getting it right. The Guardian has absolutely embraced the web and is using it to build its brand globally. 

Its  “Open Platform”  will allow partners to reuse content and data for free.  In contrast with many newspapers, the Guardian is letting go of control in exchange for removing obstacles that’ll extend its reach and brand globally.  Isn’ t it amazing to see this given how The Guardian used to be pigeon holed as a trendy, lefty UK paper that less than 50 years ago was only printed in the North of England.  Just a perfect example of embracing change and moving with the times. Well done The Guardian.