Monday, April 27, 2009

My stream, your stream, now it's everybody's stream

What better news than Subway's foot long for $5? How about Facebook opening up it's activity stream for external developers. Now that's quite a mouth full!

The stream is all the updates that take up the middle of your facebook page. It shows you all the posts from your friends in real-time. This keeps you up to date on everything that's happening. And now other apps and websites can utilize it too.

What's going to be interesting to see how the stream is utilized. The Facebook Open Stream API allows websites to "access the stream on behalf of a user and then filter, remix, and display the stream back to that user however you choose, wherever you choose, in the manner most relevant for the user experience. Other new API methods will allow users to both publish into the stream and to add comments and "likes" to posts in the stream." It's got some other pretty interesting features so make sure to check out the full article at:


What's the deal with WAYN?

So every Monday, I blog about a social networking site that all the innovators and early adapters yawn at, the mainstream feels some varying degree of familiarity and the laggards skip over to more important things for them like changing the record because the needle is hitting the edge.

Today, I feel is one of those necessary sites. WAYN which stands for What are you now? is part of a large family of social networking sites related to the travel industry. It's connected to facebook and twitter - so you can login through your facebook account and your tweets are synonymous with your "what are you up for doing?". You can post pictures, blogs, reviews and videos. And you can also plan trips, search trips, and if you've added the "where have you been" app that's also integrated on the WAYN site.

While the design is very nice -- clean and simple -- I'm still struggling with what gives this site an edge. They receive 32,936 unique visitors daily according to and receive an estimated 258.4K US people monthly according to That's no or and for get about playing in the leagues of and, but you have to admit in the land of a dime a dozen of social networking sites, it's pretty good.

Let me know what you think about Is it another site you'll use when traveling or just another social networking site in the pack that's getting left behind?

Friday, April 24, 2009

If I had a dollar for every iPhone app downloaded...

...I'd have over a billion dollars

Apple has to be pretty proud of their current position. Over a billion apps downloaded and in their countdown to the billionth app, 5.5 million apps where downloaded daily. For any iPhone owner, apps are just a part of daily life. It's almost a social status to know the 'cool' apps out there and of course a great filler while waiting for a movie to start, filling space before your food arrives, on the train, plane or just sitting on your couch.

In many ways, it's almost expected as an iPhone user that your favorite websites have iPhone apps - myspace, facebook, craigslist just to name a few. And there are so many practical uses. If you want to learn Spanish download 24/7 tutor, or maybe find a move you add Fixster, or before the movie looking for a close by restaurant UrbanSpoon has it all. Regardless if you want to find cheap gas, calculate a tip, need a flashlight, check stocks, take pictures at night, skype or play games - there is an app for that.

So the question that most marketers and companies ask themselves is how do we stay on top and who are the close competitiors. How can we continue to evolve avoiding the fate of the cassette tape or even Geocities that was officially shut down by Yahoo! this month.

I think the big questions that Apple will need to answer is global scalability and flexibility. Right now they beat out Google's Android in terms of users and apps; however, Android is just getting out to market and it's ability to be used globalily on a larger number of devices and providers may change the playing field.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is Facebook the new excuse for not doing your homework?

Nothing like waking up to a new study that show facebook is the reason why I didn't get summa cum laude. Damn it, I knew it wasn't all the drinking and partying. A study by Aryn Karpinski of Ohio State University and Adam Duberstein of Ohio Dominican University shows that college students on Facebook have significantly lower GPAs than those who are not on Facebook - typically a full grade lower (3.0-3.5 users vs. 3.5-4.0 non-users).

Of course, we all know (even the Facebook users) that these studies suggest correlation not causation and even Karpinski admits that "maybe [facebook users] are just prone to distraction. Maybe they are just procrastinators." People also speculate that Facebook or social networking is no bigger distraction than TV, video games or going out.

The fact is that studies support both the pros and cons of using the internet/social networking. Some studies like Oxford University neuroscientist Susan Greenfield's cautioned that social networks like Facebook and Bebo were "infantilizing the brain into the state of small children," basically shortening attention span jeopardizing capacity for learning while another study by the University of Melbourne shows Internet use at work can improve employees concentration and increase productivity.

Maybe if we all take ginseng tablets, they wont take our Facebook away.

To read the full article:,8599,1891111,00.html

Monday, April 13, 2009

What is the deal with Twitter?

I've been social networking for about 4-5 years.  And yes, I believe it when Facebook claims that people spend 3 billion second a day on their site.  What's the first thing I do in the morning, check my email, respond to any linkedin requests, check out facebook - maybe comment on a picture/message a friend happy birthday, and then of course eat breakfast.  It's only the natural order that I love and have grown accustom to.  But recently, I find myself asking what's the deal with twitter.  So last week I hopped on the bandwagon for a bit of research mixed with pure curiosity.  Jumping in with both feet, the sign-in process was extremely simple.  In fact, you could probably count the features of twitter on one hand.  To set up your profile, you can add a picture, short bio and website link.  Once that's complete, you can search for friends, colleagues, companies, etc.. to follow them and in turn you can be followed.  Then the core part of twitter is tweeting.  Each tweet can be 140 characters long and tweets are meant to answer the question...what are you doing?  Oh and you can tweet as often as you want.

So to establish myself in this tweeting-twitter loving world, I tweet every few days, follow several people and as a result several people are following me.  I added a picture, filled out my bio and of course linked my website.  OK. Success.  But now what?  I find myself asking the question "What's so great about twitter?"  Then my marketing brain starts kicking in segmenting their target market, reviewing close competitors, and conceptualizing the major strategic initiatives for twitter.  My conclusion is that twitter has a very different profile than facebook/myspace.  Twitter which has no connotations for attracting a huge body of high school/ college 'kids' is more comparable to linkedin (or wants to be).  The major tweeters are individuals for professional development and businesses.  If I want to tell my friends I partied till 4am or just ate a big sandwich for lunch -- facebook or myspace it is, but if I want to know what's going on with all the various IT networks out there - SEO Jobs, website design companies, wordpress, and share blog stories or freelance jobs - tweeter it may be.

In the meantime, I'm going to keep tweeting ( and take maybe 20 seconds away from facebook time and give it to twitter.