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Copy and Paste Culture of Social Networks July 16, 2010

Posted by billyburnettgbc in social networks, Uncategorized.
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Mashable.com confirmed today the rumour that MySpace has begun demoing a completely redesigned version of its profile pages to select users. Despite a couple of nice new features (well new to MySpace anyway) is this really enough to turn things around?

Site analytics show the site has been in steady decline for the past 12 months and recent departures from the senior management imply a lack of clear vision moving forward. Facebook continues to lure away MySpace users whilst the rumoured entrance of Google into the space should also be cause for concern.

Although the introduction of these new features may interest a few users and capture some headlines this is unlikely to change the fortunes of the company. We have already seen this exact same scenario play out in the mobile handset world, where handset manufacturers look to emulate the features of the market leader (ok then, copy) instead of innovating and differentiating their product. It’s not they are bad, it’s just their competitors do it first and often do it better.

Facebook won’t be around forever and the next “big thing” is probably being developed in a garage somewhere right now, but with this copy and paste culture it’s unlikely to be from MySpace.

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Napster Goes Social May 7, 2010

Posted by kewroad in social networks, Uncategorized.
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Despite the news last month that social networking site Bebo was closing its doors and the continued decline of MySpace over the past year, the opportunity around social networking sites is considerable when done right. According to a recent report by Nielsen, the total time spent on social networking sites by users worldwide grew more than 100% over the past year, as Facebook and Twitter posted large gains in unique users.

Napster, the pay-to-use streaming and download web application, which has recently lost market share today to both legal and illegal alternatives, yesterday announced the integration of social media tools to give a new attraction to its online activities. Napster will now allow users to share their music interests with online friends and consume social media content from applications like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

The runaway success of Facebook is indeed based on the relationship forged between Internet users who declare themselves “friends” but also on the preferences expressed by each user. This strategy of socialising existing services is likely to be adopted by many consumer facing industries in the future and these changes to the Napster service are significant and offer functionality that is likely to resonate with their intended audience.

However, with Facebook continuing to grow and looking at new ways to monetise their user base what’s to stop them doing the reverse and entering the digital content market and blowing services like Napster out of the water, or perhaps even just buying them? The digital opportunity is huge but toppling the current major players requires innovation and differentiation rather than emulation.

Wake up Murdoch it’s the Internet Age! August 11, 2009

Posted by billyburnettgbc in Uncategorized.
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It seems that everyman and his dog has announced a new music service over the past few weeks, with rumours of a deal between 3 UK and Spotify, BT and Sky getting in on the act and Orange teaming up with Universal and Channel4 to launch Monkey, so what does that have to do with the title of today’s blog?

As you are probably aware, Rupert Murdoch announced earlier this week that he plans to shake up the newspaper industry by introducing a pay-per-view model to all his news websites, including the Times, the Sun and the News of the World, by next summer.  This has resulted in strong reactions from both the media industry and general public, with a flood of online and print articles, blog postings, tweets and even Facebook groups being created to rally like-minded folks.

My personal stance on the situation and one that I strongly believe will be the response of the masses, is that I will just go somewhere else for my content.  This may include alternative traditional news sites, but also Twitter, which continues to break stories, and a selection of blogs and forums that cater to my interests.  The fact is that Rupert doesn’t have a monopoly on news and intelligence, so why pay when I can get it for free elsewhere?

So what does this have to do with music services, or was it simply a way to drive traffic to the blog? Well dear reader, the launch of these freemium music services is an attempt to create a way, for music lovers, service providers and music labels, to mutually benefit from and enjoy this content rather than use unscrupulous file sharing sites.

Murdoch however seems blissfully unaware of the fact that the masses have never paid for his content, online news, and even less are paying for the physical copies on the newsstands.  Why would we start paying now when there are so many alternative sources available, for example Twitter and Google News?  Is this a sign that Murdoch is out of touch with what’s actually happening?  MySpace anyone?

The content industry, be it film, music or the written word, is changing to where consumers are no longer willing to pay, especially when it’s available for free.  This is a conundrum, as we don’t want to pay but we also want access to more quality content, so what’s the solution?

As always, answers on a postcard and the best will be read out in front of the class.