Wednesday, March 26, 2008

WiMax Redux?

According to a story in the Washington Post, the Sprint-Clearwire partnership are in talks with several large cable operators (Comcast and Time/Warner) about a joint partnership to finally build a national WiMax network, and presumably market it to cable subscribers.

Google and Intel are also sniffing around the partnership. I wonder how this affects Google's efforts to claim the old UHF bandwidth for a free, ad driven wireless network. (is that the hedging of bets I hear?)

More importantly, it will be compelling entertainment to watch these big elephants dance around and jockey for advantage, while the wireless behemoths, AT&T and Verizon consolidate their positions and throw up barriers to entry to the marketplace...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Yahoo Joins OpenSocial

Breaking news from the WSJ- Yahoo has joined the OpenSocial initiative. It looks like Facebook is on the outside looking in now. I wonder how long it will take them to cave in.

From the article:

Yahoo's announcement Tuesday could also put pressure on Facebook, the closely held social network that so far has not signed on to the effort.

Yahoo called itself a "founding member" of the foundation, which is planned to be an independent non-profit entity with a formal intellectual property and governance framework. Related assets will be assigned to the new organization by July 1.

The foundation will focus on issues including technology, documentation and intellectual property.

Social applications -- which let users do things such as see the music friends are listening to and share photo slideshows - have emerged as a popular activity for users of social networking sites, and a potentially powerful vehicle for delivering advertisements. Prior to OpenSocial, if a developer built a "favorite photos" application to work on one social network, it would have to be built all over again to work on another site.

Google introduced the initiative to put pressure on Facebook and MySpace, which is owned by News Corp., publisher of The Wall Street Journal. Facebook offers its own specifications for software developers and the over 7,000 such add-on applications for its site have contributed to Facebook's popularity and usage.

Steve Pearman, MySpace's senior vice president of product strategy, said, "Yahoo is an important addition to the OpenSocial movement, and through this foundation we will work together to provide developers with the tools to make the Internet move faster and to foster more innovation and creativity."

The OpenSocial foundation also launched a website:

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Grab Bag of Miscellania

The technology business is rolling along, March Madness starts, the Dow is down 5% then up 5%, Bear Stearns goes bye-bye (maybe!) and old school, hard nosed marketers are funding wild-eyed social media projects- it is a wild, wild month. In like a lion, out like a lion.

The outstanding team here at Strategic has been working with our client Tellabs for almost two years now. Broadband access is a huge issue in the telecommunications industry and Tellabs has been leader in promoting broadband. Today, we and Tellabs put out a survey of telecom professionals that captures their opinions on the penetration and regulation of broadband. You can read the release here:

Take a moment and read Chris Parente's take on the survey and it's larger meaning.

In other news, the Wall Street Journal gave it's implied endorsement to social media resources. Watch out boys and girls- the days when social media was a romantic, cutting edge advancement in the progress of the human race is coming to an end. If the Wall Street Journal is endorsing it, then it's mainstream, normal and soon to be a regular boring part of sending out a press release over telegraph wires...


Thursday, March 13, 2008


Thanks to a post on Louis Gray's blog, I've discovered FriendFeed. As many of you probably realize, keeping track of all of the conversations happening simultaneously on dozens of social networking sites is a challenge to say the least. FriendFeed aims to solve (umm, maybe just help deal with) this problem by providing a place to pull all the feeds from all your social media networks in to one large feed. I've signed up for it and it makes things a bit easier to deal with.

Check out my feed here:

AOL Buys Bebo?

A very interesting development today...AOL has announced that they will be buying Bebo, an online social network with 40 million members, mostly in Europe, according to the Social Times. As Nick points out, there is a bit of a disconnect as AOL is based mostly here in the States. Perhaps AOL is positioning for international expansion, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me.


I haven't posted in a while. Sorry to all my regular readers...I've been rather busy at work and, of course, following the minute by minute disaster that is the end of Eliot Spitzer's career.

But you can count on me from now on! Posts galore on the continuing mainstreaming of social media and networks, the start of the Nats baseball season, tech marketing in a recession, St. Patrick's Day, the CTIA Wireless show and RSA Security show- all over the next three or four weeks!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Social Networks- Good PR?

The question of PR versus advertising has been around for a long time. Al Ries wrote a book entitled, "The Fall of Advertising and The Rise of PR", that describes how PR is better suited to marketing today's products and services. Nowadays, the growth of cheap (land line and mobile) broadband combined with free, easy to use simple CMS software like weblogs, wikis and social networks has empowered users, customers, prospects, and critics to organize themselves on their own terms.

Nothing new about that.

So I chuckled when I read in BizReport about WPP's results from social networking for their customers (emphasis mine).

WPP found that more of their clients were interested in keeping consumers updated on company changes, events and specials and that social networking sites were a good way to do this. However, advertising on social networks was not as popular, leading the company to deduce that social networks are helping businesses but in a different way than originally thought.

From the beginning, many businesses have been interested in creating branded micro-sites within social networks. What this trend report indicates is that this is a good way to connect with a user-base, to introduce new products or to keep consumers updated on sales or company events.

To someone with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To ad agency, everything looks like a opportunity to sell ads.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Do Not Copy Other People's Stuff

It's been said before. Everyone should have picked this up in school. Maybe in the past, before the Internet, you might be tempted to copy a paragraph or a sentence here and there. No more. The Internet is forever, and everything you write is there forever. And it's almost instantly search able.
Don't believe me? Read "How my blog started the avalanche that buried presidential aide Tim Goeglein" by Nancy Nall Derringer in Slate today. Here is the link:

I wonder how many people are going to fired ten, twenty years from now for plagiarizing other people's content (...and all the snotty, mean, vicious things they write on their own blogs or while commenting on other people's...). Seriously people, do not copy other people's stuff.