Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Here Come the Innovation Hippies! Beware of Social Media Snake Oil

December 7, 2009

My newly departed colleague Steve Baker’s last piece for BusinessWeek is a contrarian take on social media. Given that this skeptical piece was penned by one of social media’s biggest fans and practicioners, it’s worth a close read.

Says Baker: “The problem, according to a growing chorus of critics, is that many would-be guides are leading clients astray. Consultants often use buzz as their dominant currency, and success is defined more often by numbers of Twitter followers, blog mentions, or YouTube hits than by traditional measures, such as return on investment.”

Read the rest of the piece here. It’s generating a pretty vibrant discussion on bw.com.

Making Social Media Pay Off

June 2, 2009

Last week, my colleague Steven Baker wrote a cover story with the provocative question: What’s a Friend Worth?

The latest Internet dream was that social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, with all of their tons of user data, would create an advertising gold mine. But the answer, so far, is that despite the huge and growing amount of interest in social networks, your social friends are not worth that much. People are just not in a buying mood on social networks so they don’t click on those ads that often at all.

The good news is that that social networks are coming to grips with this hard realization and developing new ways to make money from all those friends–beyond advertising. The recent $200 million investment that Facebook received from Russian investment firm, Digital Sky Technologies, which says it has developed several profitable social networks, was driven in some part by the company’s expertise in generating non-advertising revenue.

Check out the rest of this post on BusinessWeek’s TechBeat blog, in which I talk about the new emerging business models of social media.

Take 2: How Social Media Changes Your Business

May 23, 2008

My colleagues Stephen Baker and Heather Green wrote a fabulous update to their 2005 BusinessWeek cover story, Blogs Will Change Your Business.

It’s called Beyond Blogs: What Business Needs to Know, and you should definitely read it.

Since our 2005 story came out, a lot has changed in the blogosphere. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter barely even existed. As Steve and Hetaher write, “Three years ago, we wrote a big story—but missed a bigger one.”

The bigger story, of course, is the rise of social media–of which blogging is just a small but important part.

Here’s another snippet from the story encapsulating the shift we’ve seen the last few years:

“But blogs, it turns out, are just one of the do-it-yourself tools to emerge on the Internet. Vast social networks such as Facebook and MySpace offer people new ways to meet and exchange information. Sites like LinkedIn help millions forge important work relationships and alliances. New applications pop up every week. While only a small slice of the population wants to blog, a far larger swath of humanity is eager to make friends and contacts, to exchange pictures and music, to share activities and ideas.

These social connectors are changing the dynamics of companies around the world. Millions of us are now hanging out on the Internet with customers, befriending rivals, clicking through pictures of our boss at a barbecue, or seeing what she read at the beach. It’s as if the walls around our companies are vanishing and old org charts are lying on their sides.”