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Social Gaming Network Lands $15m in Funding May 13, 2008

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Social Gaming Network lands a round of $15 million in venture funding.  Eric Eldon at Venturebeat has the best  writeup on the company and the news.

I think that Social Gaming Network is on to something really big.  The social graph is working and these guys have proven how fast applications can grow.  The big news here is the scale of their reach and the platform that they are building for Social Graphs and Social Networks.

This is a very important trend to watch.

Web 2.0 Expo Blogging and Twittering – New formula for social media marketing and advertising: Social Networks + Social Media = Social Commerce April 22, 2008

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I’m at Web 2.0 Expo blogging and twittering the event.  A great event that is trying to encapsulate the web 2.0 world for business people.  One of the problems with Web 2.0 Expo so far is that it’s to geared to developers.  In fact most attendees are normal business people who are trying to harness web 2.0 for their business.

Tomorrow should be a great day when the event kicks off.  I’m here talking to potential companies for my new startup.

If anyone from corporations, media companies, or ad agenciesis interested in social media marketing and/or social media advertising I am available to chat.   I am currently in private beta for my new social media ad product.

New formula for social media marketing and advertising:  Social Networks + Social Media = Social Commerce

Social Everything: Interaction and Integration – The Future of Social Networks and Media March 7, 2008

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For the past three years I’ve been working with over 40 corporate advertisers in developing, testing, deploying, and measuring social media. I’ve discovered many things and learning more everyday.  As I am documenting my findings I have to highlight Charline Li’s post from yesterday.

Charlene Li has a great post on her views of Social Graphs and business models. It’s about “Social Everything”.

The big trend in Charlene’s post is that social individuals, groups, networks, graphs are great, but they still don’t connect to real world value. This linchpin to real world benefits is where I have the vision for social everything – it’s about collaboration. Virtual activity is highly productive, but seems to dead end when translating and scaling to real world offline benefits.

If you have been one of the 10k people following my blog you know where I stand and have a sense of what I’m working on for my next venture- Social Advertising, Social Media, Social Graph, Social Everything.   Charlene’s post reasonated with alot of my findings and the direction that I’m heading.  Here are some nice gems in Charlene’s post:

“.. the idea of social graphs being “owned” by different social networks makes no sense. Yet, all of today’s social networks build their business model and competitive advantage on having the largest, most complete social graph. The result: I have a close colleague who enjoys exploring all of the new social networks and “friends” me on all of them, figuring I’m a pretty good person to have in his new network. In a world with a single social graph, he would be able to import his existing personal, social graph into any new service, and immediately begin enjoying the new service without having to wait for his friends to catch up. And I would be spared the insanity of having to accept his umpteenth “friend” invitation!….In a world of a single social graph, social networks will have to compete on the basis of creating the best experience for its members – not because it controls a unique social graph.”….

…”The brilliance of Facebook Platform is that it greatly expanded what people could do on social networks. The problem is that what people do is still pretty limited. Take a look at the top applications on Facebook – they can be roughly grouped into 1) managing/comparing/interacting with friends in a general context; 2) self-expression (FunWall, Bumper Sticker); 3) games; and 4) media preferences (iLike, Flikster). These are all fun and interesting, but they only begin to scratch the surface of what I do every day.”….

…”A business model where social influence defines marketing value. Today’s advertising models don’t work on social networking sites – that’s because simply targeting better on profile or social graph details is still the same old media model of CPM and CPC pricing. What’s missing is marketing value based on how valuable I am in the context of my influence. For example, Steve Rubel is a highly influential person because he is an authority on social media, the people in his social graph tend to interested in his views, and they in turn have a great deal of authority as well. (Several people came up to me after the speech and said that this is similar to a “PageRank of people”, a very easy way to crystallize the idea.)

This means that each person will have their own “personal CPM”, an idea I heard JWT‘s Marian Salzman discuss at a private event in February (here are more details on the JWT’s Top Trends for 2008). The idea is that marketers want to reach highly influential people, and hopefully curry their endorsements. This has traditionally been the province of public relations, where they reach out to key influencers. But in the world of social networks, this is influence writ large and wide – every person has their own network of influence, and hence, their own personal CPM or value that they contribute to a social network.

..”There are several start-ups as well as established agencies that are already looking at marketing, brokering, measuring, etc. social influence, so you can expect to hear more about this topic soon. But don’t expect advertising spending to quickly embrace social influence – after all, the vast majority of ad budgets are spent by media buyers who still cleave to the tried and true reach and frequency, CPM models.”

Why is this relevant? Because as pointed out yesterday by industry visionaries, the iPhone SDK announcement represents the biggest trend since the PC revolution – socially connected individuals, groups, and media are at the heart of this new revolution.

Social Everything includes devices (iphone) to connect to networks (open social + social graphs) to consume media and information (social media). Users love it and so advertisers will soon have solutions – hopefully provided by us entrepreneurs.

Wanted: Any Yahoo Social Networking and Social Graph Product Mgrs and Engineers February 13, 2008

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Attention Fresh Ex-Yahoo employees or future Ex Yahoo employees.

I am looking for product and engineering startup employees for my upcoming startup. This is a pure startup opportunity in Palo Alto. I’ve been working on this new opportunity with my wife Linda.

Consider this an open call for Yahoo entrepreneurs who know social networks and social graph technology: I’m looking for product managers and engineers for my new social advertising startup.

For more information read through some of the posts here at Furrier.org

I also posted on Techcrunch comments as well.

Update:

I saw Susan Mernit at the Yahoo campus today while I was attending the SDForum Social Graph Search Developer Event.  She was bummed.  Wait I’d say more stunned.  Susan blogged about it here.  Susan is a good person who takes pride in her work.  It must have been a surprise.  Susan: lets get together next week.  I’m happy to share with you the months of research on the landscape.  Ping me if you need anything.

Another employee named Ryan twittered the layoff.   Randy Farmer who I met when Yahoo launched Yahoo 360 (their social network beta) blogged the surprise layoff.  

Hello Web 2.0 Real Time Communication.  I hope that we can use these same tools for Real Time Collaboration and get people back to doing great work.

Data as a Service (DAS) – Facebook Business Opportunities – It’s about the ‘data effects’ October 9, 2007

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One theme coming out of the conference here is the value in the platform – the data and the ‘data effects’.  More importantly the Internet Operating System (IOS).  Tim O’Reilly pointed this out today at the Social Graph Conference.  Here is a great post from Stu Phillips about Data as a service – eg facebook and other social networks.  Stu ironically was the key player behind Cisco’s IOS.  As we all know Cisco had one of the most sustainable and nested advantages in their routers.  I think Stu has a great perspective in looking at the role of the Internet as an operating system.  Add higher level stack abstractions and you have Cisco’s IOS + Web 1.0 + Web 2.0 = Modern Web. 

If you’re an entrepreneur who is interested in building a business as part of the Internet Operating System you need to meet with Stu who is helping fund and advise startups.

Stu points out the following:  “Facebook could find some interesting ways of monetizing that database – not only does it have a detailed set of relationship data, it also has a rich transaction stream – every time you add a friend, change your profile, interact with an application… Facebook generates a transaction. Mining both the database and the log of transactions could provide very valuable data. “

Stu is highlighting an article from Fred VogelStein at Wired.  Fred penned an article about Facebook for the La Times.

Here is a link to my data on Facebook. 

Official Definition of Facebooks Social Graph – Dave Morin from Facebook – Graphing Social Patterns – Day 2 October 9, 2007

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Dave Morin works on the Facebook platform team to bring out the platform – developers.facebook.com.  He is talking about Facebook, the Social Graph, and the Facebook Platform. 

Facebook is a technology company and a social utility.   Facebook is growing at 225k users per day and doubling every six months.  The new users are coming from people over the age of 25.  Mostly users outside the US (uk and canada dominate the international distribution).  Over 50% of users return each day.   60 billion pages every day.

The official definition:  Social Graph is the network of connections that exist through which people communicate and share information.  Applications like photos and events are examples that leverage the social graph.  Dave highlights that the Events App (written by Mark Zuckerberg in 8 hours one night) on Facebook is dwarfing evite because of the social graph and the network effects. 

Facebook will be open for developers and users.  I wonder what this means.???  Facebook is a young company and I think that they will do the right thing in making it ‘really open’.  As Tim O’Reilly says whoever makes the developer money will win the platform war.  Right now Tim says that Facebook is a subsystem of the Internet platform.  If they make the right moves on the developer front they can win the platform war.

New features will harness the fact that Facebook is moving toward a metric of engagement.   New opportunities?  Three things important to Facebook:  managing the growth, get to engagement apps and metrics, and monetization on these new social patterns.

Dave says that Facebook has 90,000 developers and growing.  Facebook is excited and humbled by the outpouring of support from developers.  Another interesting stat – 80% of users have adopted at least one application. 

Live Blogging from Graphing Social Patterns October 8, 2007

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Sitting in the row of press next to Nick (allfacebook.com) and Brian SolisDave McClure is putting on a great event with top silicon valley press and developers.  The “Don” of blogging – Dan Farber is blogging and leading the charge on techmeme.  Tom Foremski has some earlier posts. 

What is the social graph?  Everyone wants to know.  It’s really not fully defined but in general I think that it’s a movement that will have legs.  Why?  Because we are all connected and fully networked.  I expect to see some interesting new approaches to content, collaboration, and advertising – maybe we should call it the social semantic web.   Some think that Social Graph is based in hype.

Right now Danny Sullivan, the authority on search,  is taking about search engines and how it relates to the social revolution that we know of as social networks and media.  

web 1.0  search success:  “off the page” metrics – clickthrus, anchor text, actual text, and link relationships.   Problem: spamming and manipulation of text and links.

Evolution:  vertial search and personalized and social search.   Changes will be gradual and won’t be noticed by most users.  How does this happen?  Data used by Google.  Yes Google is monitoring your web history.  Tagging.  Will this be enough?  Search will be going through major transformation in the next few years. 

What about Facebook?  Social graph and social network data…watching what others are doing… reshape results and actions based upon what friends are doing.   To me is facebook about watching what people are doing rather than something of value?  Is there a collaboration app waiting to be born … uhmm..

Is facebook for real Danny asks..he points the crowd to this picture…

 facebook2.jpg

New trend in facebook ..Friend pollution – “true friends”?  are your friends effecting the search engines?  He says that facebook doesn’t have a facebook friendly search technology.  I agree with Danny.  I think that Facebook search is terrible. 

Question from crowd:  what does he think of Mahalo?  Danny doesn’t see Mahalo as social search because it is done by editors not a community.  Hmm I think that Jason is doing both not just editors.  Jason Calacannis is this true? 

Search is an on demand activity based upon what a user knows what they want.  Different from discovery..getting something that you would like that you don’t know you want… Digg, aggregated news, content that is aggregated knowledge of what your friends watch.

I tried to ask a question but they ran out of time.  So I’ll ask it here…

Danny:  web 1.0 search was based upon open data (crawling pages) and multiple companies were created to address search (altavista, excite, yahoo, etc).. Will Facebook be monolithic search or will it open up its data?  If so what is the best way for facebook to enable entrepreneurs to create new search applications?

Update: Danny answered via the comments..Thanks Danny

Danny Sullivan’s response:  “I suspect Facebook will not open up its social data, so the best way to enable entrepreneurs will probably remain though application development — that you could develop an app to call on Google, Yahoo, Microsoft or Ask search results and somehow store activity on them by those sharing through some type of search app.”

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