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Web Strategy Matrix: Google Buzz vs Facebook vs MySpace vs Twitter (Feb 2010) « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing February 28, 2010

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Lack Of Signal In A Sea of Noise
There’s an incredible amount of media and blogger noise about social networks, yet most focus on “killer app” hype without an objective point of view.   My career mission?  To cut out the hype and help companies make sense of what to do. For those fraught with information overload, this definitive matrix distills what matters.

Situation:  New Contender Shakes Up Industry
Google has entered the social networking play with “Buzz”, and by the look of it, this time it’s for real.  There’s a lot of market confusion on how they could stack up, so here’s my take.  Let’s cut the noise and get to the heart of it with a comparison matrix based upon my insights talking to these companies in formal briefings, observations, as a user, my former research and dealing with the brands trying to reach them.

Executive Summary:  Brands Must Stay Focused On Where Customers Already Are
Google’s entrance causes media havoc but web strategists should stay focused.  Find out where customers already are through developing data around consumer behavior called socialgraphics.  Facebook continues to demonstrate a sophisticated marketplace for consumers and brands to mix about, however don’t discount MySpace’s active consumer base –but only if your customers are already there.  Continue to monitor Twitter and respond if customers are tweeting –but they’ve yet to indicate sophistication to help marketers, instead rely on third party tools and agencies to respond.  The feature set of newly spawned Google Buzz isn’t important, what matters is their ability to aggregate social content which will impact search strategy for businesses trying to reach consumers, read my first take analysis.

This scorecard has a limited shelf life, so I’ll likely create a new scorecard after future announcements from these players.

Web Strategy Matrix: Google Buzz vs Facebook vs MySpace vs Twitter (Feb 2010)

Google Buzz Facebook MySpace Twitter
One-Liner A dark horse that has big backing and access to existing platforms. A mainstay platform that needs to grow out of its shell. The MTV of this generation is at risk during an ugly transformation. Has opportunity to become utility-like infrastructure, but not a destination.
Vitals (see more stats) Estimated to sit on a user based of over 100mm active gmail users, they have access to the most popular webpage in the world, google.com.  Has access to mainstream users on Google.com and advanced email users on Gmail. Boasting over 400mm users in just a few short years, they’ve saturated Gen Y in US, and show global expansion at record rates. Recently reported at 57mm US unique users most of which are heavily engaged with site.  Has saturation of coveted youth, working class and small businesses within US. Although difficult to track, estimates indicate 75mm active users, but doubts are emerging about reduced rate of growth.  Usage by tech savvy, media, and celebs.
Strengths A large talent pool of engineers to pull from, Buzz stands on top of existing Gmail, mobile devices, and dominant search portal.  As Buzz grows, they can integrate with all Google apps –and aggregate the entire internet. Rapid US and international growth over last few years bodes well as quickly evolved feature set of platform and and FB Connect gain traction.  Attracts top talent from Google –which are quickly defecting. Big backing by a media giant, a super engaged audience, and rich history of reaching media starved young consumers. Has clinched adoption over media elite, celebrities, and tech influencers. Incredible media buzz, and easy-to-use features.
Weaknesses Late to the party, Google has had a series of social networking misfires from Wave, Dodgeball, Orkut their culture shows signs of becoming corporate –like Microsoft. Struggles with the conundrum of having promised users a ‘closed’ experience where to be successful requires them to be ‘open’. Historically poor track record in meeting privacy expectations of customers, and overall complex interface. Complacent: they really let themselves go. In the eyes of the tech world, they are becoming irrelevant or even worse, a niched media play –not even a lifestyle network.  This leaderless ship without a captain is undergoing radical internal turmoil and innovation has stalled. Although features are dead simple, they are now a commodity –status update features are ubiquitous. Mainstream users confused by how to get started. Overhyped, the infrastructure has shown strain.  Brands generally confused on how to interact.
Opportunity The more information users share, tag, or create, the more data is created on Google’s platform to organize, giving them opportunity to monetize. By integrating Facebook Connect everywhere, the service becomes ubiquitous, and therefore the default identity and default address book for consumer behavior. A few hours ago, the CEO Van Natta was let go. Now a new chief can step up, and lead the recently formed executive team, fostering innovation and solidarity. Must develop more features to increase the overall value of this utility of the this simple status messaging tool.
Threats Mainstay email companies like Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL have already shown social features ‘bolted’ onto their email systems, and could pose threat, although success hasn’t been proven by any. Secondly, Facebook has made notions to develop an email web client “Project Titan” that will threaten tech savvy users competing for Gmail’s attention. Facebook is a conundrum as they must make experience open –yet this provides Google the opportunity to monetize as an intermediary. Social networks come and go, before MySpace was Friendster, they run the risk of becoming complacent, losing talent to Twitter and failing to innovate over the next few years. Self-implosion from internal instability causes stalls, forcing media brands to develop their own social networking on their own sites, rendering MySpace a duplicate. Worse yet? Cool kids jump ship, and establish a colony elsewhere, leaving MySpace a wasteland of clueless advertisers. Overhype from media leaves Twitter at risk for burn-out-syndrome like a Hollywood child star turned skid row.  Secondly, the more successful they are, the more strain it put on the already questionable infrastructure.
Marketing Platform Although not fully developed, expect advertising options to appear for brands who want to promote relevant ads wherever Buzz is located, especially on SERP pages Confusing and overly complicated, there are too many marketing options perplexing brands.  It’s not clear if brands should advertise, interact in pages, create widgets or do a combination of all. Strong and straight forward. Established team has cut deals with many media companies and has legacy culture of understanding media. Nascent. Although promises have been made for branded experiences, analytics, and other premium features, for most marketers it’s being treated like a chat room –not a marketing platform.
Future State Buzz will aggregate the voices of their users –and those of other social networks, aggregate and serve up monetization options. A communications platform for consumers and brands.  Expect Facebook experience to be in many public experiences and mobile devices. There are two paths: Integrate MySpace into TV and mobile devices or fade into pit of irrelevance like Friendster. Like gas, water, or power, Twitter is likely to fade into the background and become a utility that’s integrated into everything –someday, even your fridge will Tweet.
What They Don’t Want You To Know The collective already owns you –you just don’t know it yet. They’re trying so hard to shift from closed to open, and like a nasty divorce, it’s tearing them apart from users. Like an internal disease, the insiders are hurting, morale sunk, teams in disarray, yet they don’t want the public to know. Not sure what they want to be when they grow up.
What They Should Do Demonstrate success with Buzz, then quickly integrate into other tools like Search and Chrome. Kill off the confusing Wave, and consolidate teams and efforts.  Aggregate public content from Twitter and Facebook, intermediate them and monetize their own content. Get open now. Build a browser to quickly go transcend the web. Reward users to share more information in public like restaurant or media reviews in exchange for other values. Double down efforts on Project Titan email feature. Quickly establish a chain of command and execute based upon a single vision. Have regular talent turnover to avoid complacency. Develop a white label product that can compete with Cisco EOS, Kyte, Pluck, or Kickapps (Altimeter client). Develop a vision to become the dominant protocol over SMS, where teens and international cultures are already heavily texting. Continue to build out platform for developers to build on top of, becoming a data play, like a utility.

Everyone has a morning ritual, for me, I invest up to two hours reading, thinking, and blogging each morning. I hope this helps you cut through the noise –if it was helpful, please pass it on, email to colleagues, tweet it, and blog about it.

via Web Strategy Matrix: Google Buzz vs Facebook vs MySpace vs Twitter (Feb 2010) « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing.

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Google Docs gets a web clipboard | VentureBeat February 28, 2010

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Google has made life a bit better for hardcore Google Docs users. Today, the company unveiled a new web clipboard feature for the Docs suite. It allows users to copy items to a cloud-based clipboard from any Docs application, and then paste them into another Docs app with proper formatting.

Users can copy items to the web clipboard using the new clipboard menu shown below:

They can then use the same menu in another Docs document to paste in the copied content:

As you can see, there are several options available when pasting the web clipboard content. Since the example started out by copying content from spreadsheet, there is a “table” option, alongside the usual HTML and plain text.

After pasting the spreadsheet tables into a new presentation, we get a properly formatted result:

The new web clipboard won’t change the way copying and pasting already works in Google Docs via your operating system, but it is a useful alternative. You can copy multiple items to the web clipboard, and being cloud-based, the clipboard items are accessible across different browsers, platforms, and sessions. The items will remain in the clipboard for thirty days, or you can choose to clear them out manually.

Google says that this is just the first step for the web clipboard, so we can likely expect new features and functionality soon. Perhaps a way to send other content outside of Docs to the web clipboard as well?

via Google Docs gets a web clipboard | VentureBeat.

Human-centered design meets Agile Development February 28, 2010

Posted by hruf in Enterprise 2.0.
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During the last days and weeks I thaught a lot about project management, agile development, organizing teams, including “other” departments like user interface, teams which delivers you components etc.. The following presentation gives an introduction to a splitted approach.
Human-centered design meets Agile Development
View more presentations from Maria Giudice.
After some years of experience in software development and project management I’m totally sure, that the best way in developing software is a mixture between different approaches. I’m open to discuss this in more detail 😉

Half of Netflix ‘Watch Instantly’ Users Are Streaming to the TV February 28, 2010

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Multimedia.
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According to a newly published study from TDG – the nation’s leading new media research consultancy – almost two-thirds of Netflix users that subscribe to a home broadband service are now viewing the ‘Watch Instantly’ streaming video service. One-third of broadband-enabled Netflix subscribers view this streaming video exclusively only on their PCs, 8% view the content exclusively on their TVs, and 24% use both their PCs and TVs.

“Netflix is now the archetype for over-the-top (OTT) streaming video services,” notes Michael Greeson, TDG founding partner and director of research. “Not only has Netflix eclipsed its immediate competitors in terms of online DVD rental, but it has quickly become the ‘gold standard’ for new OTT streaming services.”

The implication of TDG’s research is significant: one-half of broadband-enabled ‘Watch Instantly’ users now view streaming video on their TVs, a phenomenon unimaginable just a few years ago. As Greeson points out, this speaks volumes about the maturation of streaming video technologies that, until recently, had delivered an inconsistent experience that left regular TV viewers wanting.

via Half of Netflix ‘Watch Instantly’ Users Are Streaming to the TV – Press Releases.

Google overhauls ad server technology to boost monetization | VentureBeat February 28, 2010

Posted by hruf in Internet & Communities, Mobile & Gadgets.
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Google revamped its ad server technology to help itself and small publishers monetize ads on their sites.

The upgrades include more detailed forecasting data to explain which ads are valuable and where revenue comes from to publishers. Google also released a new application programming interface allowing publishers to build their own apps to handle sales and workflow. Publishers can also open up ad space to bids from multiple networks.

Google bought DoubleClick for $3.1 billion two years ago to refine the way it shows relevant ads to users and to help advertisers optimize their spending across the web. The search giant has been pushing more aggressively into both display and mobile advertising, buying display advertising startup Teracent and agreeing to buy AdMob last fall.

This announcement also comes on the heels of a major change to the way Google targets ads on partner sites. Typically, when Google displays an ad on a partner site, it takes data from the search engine referral to help target the ad. So, for instance, if a user gets to a golf web site by searching for “golf shop Atlanta,” those keywords will be used to pick an ad. Google now factors in a few hours of search history to target ads, instead of a single query.

AdSense helped generate $2.04 billion, or 31 percent of Google’s total revenues, during the last quarter of 2009. That was up 21 percent from the same time a year before.

via Google overhauls ad server technology to boost monetization | VentureBeat.

Healthcare Wants a Tablet, But Not Apple’s iPad | Survey Results February 6, 2010

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Last week, during the fever pitch surrounding the announcement of Apple’s iPad tablet, Software Advice surveyed 178 physicians, nurses, medical students and healthcare IT professionals about what the healthcare industry’s ideal tablet would look like. This isn’t our first time talking tablets and healthcare. In April of last year, we wondered if the Apple tablet would become the ideal device to run electronic health record (EMR) software.

Majority of Healthcare Professionals Are Likely to Buy a Tablet

What Healthcare Wants, the iPad Doesn’t Have

After reviewing dozens of tablets on the market, both consumer focused and healthcare focused, we came up with the above list of “must-have” features for healthcare tablets. We asked our survey respondents to check all of the features they felt were “must-have” features in a healthcare tablet device. […]

Read the full article over here: http://www.softwareadvice.com/articles/medical/healthcare-wants-a-tablet-but-not-apples-ipad-survey-results-1020410

What are your thoughts on tablets in healthcare? Is the iPad the tablet healthcare workers have been waiting for? Or is it another tablet that just isn’t quite there yet for the healthcare industry in terms of functionality?

Behind the Smartphone Craze: redrawing the map of mobile platforms February 2, 2010

Posted by andre in Mobile & Gadgets.
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Thought Android and iPhone are taking over the world? Think again. The device platforms map is more fragmented than ever, while the media hype distorts the commercial reality. […]

The Smartphone Craze
The other day I was reading some of the usual hype-induced reports on the Smartphone revolution. Wanting to put things into perspective I pulled out some old Smartphone forecasts from 2004-2005 by the likes of IDC, Informa and Ovum.

In those pre-historic days the main Smartphone contenders were Symbian and Windows. Blackberry was still an insignificant niche, and touch screen devices were still clunky stylus based UIQ phones and iPAQs. Yet surprisingly, the average Smartphone share of shipments that was forecast for 2010 was …about 30%. So even without the Apple & Google revolution fanning the flames, many analysts believed in the mass migration to Smartphones.

Reality check: by looking at the numbers for the first three quarters of 2009, it appears that last year there have shipped no more than 170-180 million devices considered to be Open OS Smartphones. Indeed Symbian, Windows, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, WebOS, LiMO and Maemo taken all together still only constitute about 15-17% of shipments. This percentage is in fact much lower than the 2009 Smartphone share predicted a few years ago by many research companies. […]

The bets are spreading
As of late 2009, the only companies who are shipping true Open OS Smartphones in mass volumes are Nokia (Symbian), RIM (Blackberry), Apple (iPhone) and HTC (Windows Mobile, now Android). This will no doubt start to change over the course of time as Android shipments start to ramp up and the rest of the platforms realize their growth potential, but it is still not an overnight revolution.

Looking forward, this thesis shows that the market will be much more diverse than the simplistic notion that everyone either wants an App Store capable iPhone or Droid, or alternatively, an ultra-low cost phone to make phone calls. There is many more commercial dynamics at play, making up a complex platform map which is driven by customer ownership.

In 2009 the number of available device software platforms effectively grew, creating more fragmentation in the industry, not less. There are clearly mid-range segments and geographical markets with varying needs, which can be addressed with various software platforms, not necessarily in the traditional view of Smartphones vs. RTOS “dumb phones”. Simply betting on one or two platforms to rule the industry is not a sensible plan.

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Read the full article at VisionMobile.comBehind the Smartphone Craze: redrawing the map of mobile platforms | VisionMobile :: blog