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Insider-SEM: Site for Search Engine Marketing (McGraw-Hill 2009)
 

Sunday, February 14, 2010  

Social Media 2010: First it was called Web 2.0, but that was all about tools, so it died.

Then it became Social Media (SM). All about talking with each other. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, etc. SM is actually SMS: you send short update messages to your friends. Google has now joined the party about two years late by adding Wave and Buzz.

So we now have Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Wave, and Buzz: that's five ways to SMS your friends. Or, four too many. Which will die?

MySpace is dead.

Wave waved goodbye; the last Wave in my account is several weeks old.

Twitter's traffic peaked in July and has been dropping. My Twitter account is just an endless stream of press releases, and that's after I've unfollowed the worst offenders. Last month, Google gave up and added Twitter to the search results, but only for a few very-high traffic keywords and now, the lag is several hours. Google doesn't really want to promote Twitter.

Within 24 hours of the release of Google Buzz, there was already a backlash. It's pretty bad when the front page of Fox News joins the attack along with one very angry ex-wife. Google was forced to make a series of major changes within hours to reduce the anger. If you have a Google phone, it will constantly broadcast your exact position. Can't wait to turn off that one.

That leaves Facebook (FB). FB is #2 and will soon be #1 (and worse yet for Google, FB's search engine is powered by Bing). Can Google beat FB? Google is adding social media wherever it can. But it's not looking good. To win, Google would have to reposition itself as a social media site, not a search engine. But I doubt they'll do that.

Google spent two years to develop Buzz, so many at Google use it. That means it's very easy to find a Google engineer, see his list of contacts, and read their Buzz notes. Want to keep up? Just click Follow and you'll get a feed of their discussions. This is a massive security hole into Google. I expect most corporations will ban their staff from using Buzz.

Where's the next battle? Facebook is about to release Titan, their complete email tool. Just like Hotmail and GMail, you can use this for all of your email. FB has 400m users, so Titan will grow fast, which will cut into Google's GMail revenues.

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