Facebook Could Challenge Google And Become The Remote Control For The Web

November 2, 2007

by Stephen Wellman

On Aug 16, the blog Facebook Insider reported that TripAdvisor acquired Where I’ve Been, the top travel-related application on Facebook. While TripAdvisor later denied the rumor, the ensuing story exposed something: The exploding number of applications on Facebook. Thanks to its Facebook API program, Facebook is fast becoming the front page for much of the Web.

In July, I argued that Facebook posed a challenge to professional networking site LinkedIn. While I stand by that assessment, I think that in that post I didn’t go far enough. Given just how fast Facebook’s API program is growing, Facebook may present an even more interesting challenge to the Web. Facebook could shape up as a rival toGoogle, Yahoo, and even search itself.

By integrating more applications into its platform, Facebook is trying to transform itself from being just a social networking platform to becoming a full-interactive control panel or remote control for the Web. Unlike earlier attempts to do this — think of the portal model of Web 1.0 — Facebook has designed its API system so that users can access all the Web sites they want without ever leaving Facebook, or opening new Web pages. I suspect that Facebook will expand this functionality so that eventually the entire Web can be accessed through these widgets.

In short, Facebook wants to become the locus of control for much of the user’s Web activity, letting the user seamlessly share travel information, pull in news updates from blogs like TechCrunch, or send questions to the user’s social network with apps like MyQuestions.

If you will allow me to extend the remote control metaphor, Facebook users no longer have to go “out there” in the rest of the Web to get new sites, they can pull them through Facebook, either with invites from the app providers or, more effectively, through their social network itself. The cumulative impact of this could be huge. Just as the remote control gave birth to the couch potato (the ultimate passive TV viewer), so too could Facebook change the game for Web use.

If users no longer need to search to find new cool Web applications, they won’t need to use Google, Yahoo, or MSN as much. Instead, they can rely on Facebook for finding new applications. Now, I don’t think this would mean the end of search, but it could reduce its importance pretty significantly. If that happens, Google loses power and Facebook gains it.

What do you think? Do Facebook and its exploding universe of applications pose a real threat to Google and search in general?

Source:


MySpace Joins Google Alliance to Counter Facebook

November 1, 2007

By MIGUEL HELFT and BRAD STONE

MySpace and Bebo, two of the world’s largest social networking sites, today joined a Google-led alliance that is promoting a common set of standards for software developers to write programs for social networks.

The alliance now presents a powerful counterweight to Facebook, which, after opening up its site to developers last spring, has persuaded thousands of them to create programs for its users. The addition of MySpace, the world’s largest social network, and Bebo, the No.1 site in Britain, could also put pressure on Facebook to drop its own standard and join the alliance, called OpenSocial.

“OpenSocial is going to become the de facto standard for developers rights out of the gate,” said Chris DeWolfe, chief executive and co-founder of MySpace. Mr. DeWolfe said that developers using OpenSocial would be able to instantly reach 200 million users across various sites.

Google and others said they had invited other social networks, including Facebook, to participate in the alliance, whose existence was first reported Tuesday.

“The most important principle about openness is that everyone is invited to join,” said Eric E. Schmidt, Google’s chief executive.

Other members of the alliance include Friendster, Hi5, LinkedIn, Plaxo and Ning, as well as the business software makers Oracle and Salesforce.com. The creators of several of the most popular programs on Facebook, including Slide, RockYou, iLike and Flixter, have announced their intention to write programs conforming to the OpenSocial standards.

The alliance is not likely to erode the popularity of Facebook or immediately alter the dynamics of the social networking market. But it could help revitalize the sites of some of its members, which have seen their social networks eclipsed by the popularity of MySpace and Facebook. Orkut, Google’s social network, for instance, is popular in Brazil and a few other countries, but has failed to gain traction in the United States.

Google may benefit in other ways. As other social networks draw more users, it could sell more advertising on those sites. TheInternet search giant already has a $900 million advertising partnership with MySpace, and sells advertising on various other social networks. Its ads often appear inside the applications created by third-party developers. Google and MySpace have been in discussions about developing a common set of programming standards for about a year, the companies said.

At a news conference today at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Joe Greenstein, the chief executive of Flixter, whose applications allow users to share movie recommendations, demonstrated his program running inside MySpace.

“We are excited about OpenSocial,” Mr. Greenstein said. But he added that Flixter was not planning to pressure Facebook, where millions of members use the company’s program, to adopt OpenSocial. Mr. Greenstein said that customizing his company’s application that runs on Facebook to run on OpenSocial had been a painless task.Facebook declined to comment.

Source:

Other sources:


Yahoo’s new social job network: Kickstart

October 31, 2007

by Harrison Hoffman

Yahoo is looking to change the game with their new social job network, Kickstart. They are currently conducting research surveys among college students to find out what they think of this new service. Yahoo asks this question to the participants, “Wish you had an ‘in’ to find the job of your dreams?” Kickstart is all about finding that “in.”

Yahoo Kickstart connects college students with alumni at the companies that they are interested in. As you can see in the screenshot above, this student’s “in” at Nike is an alumni named Dave Bottoms. Dave has expressed an interest in helping out students and connecting with alumni. He also knows one of your friends, went to your school, and shares a common interest with you. That’s a really powerful networking tool. Presenting specific connections like this adds a whole new value to this job network.

Aside from showing your “in,” company pages also provide some useful information about the company as a whole, broken down into key points such as industry, size, location, contact, and description. Anyone who is connected in any way with that company is also displayed.

As you might also expect, everyone who signs up with Yahoo Kickstart gets their own profile page, where you can build a mini resume and add a quotation to give the profile a more personal feel. Everything here is pretty standard for a social network, but there is a definite professional focus, much like LinkedIn. The personal profile isn’t anything revolutionary, but it certainly gets the job done in this situation.

The third and final main component to Kickstart is the university page. This is very similar to what Facebook does with their “network” pages. It displays some basic information about the school and provides space for discussions, bulletins, and events.

Yahoo Kickstart is currently a concept and is being researched, so the things that you see in these screenshots may or may not make it into the final product. When I asked Yahoo for a comment on the service, they responded by saying,

“…We’re continually checking the pulse on customer response to potential concepts on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes our research leads to the development of new product offerings, but not all concepts we research are formally developed and rolled out to our larger audience.”

I personally think that Kickstart is a really solid concept and that it’s a possible game-changer in the professional networking space. Hopefully we’ll see Yahoo kickstarting some careers in the near future.

Source:

Other sources:


Social networking sites are called ‘better than print’ for recruiting IT staff

October 30, 2007

By Leo King

Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networking sites have become the top tool for hiring IT staff, a new survey among recruitment companies reveals.

According to 58 percent of IT recruitment firms polled by the Association of Technology Staffing Companies, an industry body, such sites are more useful in finding staff than traditional print advertisements. And 49 percent said they were now more effective than internet banner advertising.

But seven in 10 recruiters said job boards provided a better quality of candidates, and two in 10 preferred cold calling. Only 9 percent saw social networking as providing the most appropriate candidates.

Atsco said that the headhunters were favoring special interest groups on the sites to find candidates with the right background and knowledge, over the “scatter gun” approach of finding the right people through print advertising. It admitted, however, that print and online recruitment advertising would remain an important way for employers and recruiters to build brand value and target senior level appointments.

Ann Swain, chief executive at Atsco, said the success of social networking sites as a recruitment tool was a result of their being interactive, as opposed to the one-way communication of print advertisements. She said they offered “a dynamic, two-way dialogue between recruiter and candidate” rather than “another passive form of advertising.”

“Social networking sites make it very easy for recruiters to become trusted advisers to candidates and genuinely get to know them,” she added. “Candidates often reveal far more about themselves on these sites than they would do on the phone or in interview.”

But the survey also revealed that recruitment firms were risking their valuable databases online. Only a quarter of staffing companies currently write restrictive clauses into consultants’ contracts, asserting ownership of databases and contact lists constructed by staff on social networking sites.

As “the lifeblood of the recruitment industry,” these databases needed much more security, Atsco said.

“This is currently an area where contract law is lagging behind social trends and an area of risk that the recruitment industry needs to pick up on,” Swain said.

Source:


LINKEDIN TOOLBOX: Top 10 LinkedIn Tools

October 29, 2007

Following the footsteps of Facebook, LinkedIn is set to develop its API for developers soon. Until then, we can make use of some cool tools, scripts, and plugins to manage this popular social network better and easier to use.

LinkedInABox

LinkedInAbox provides a widget that displays various profile information on your blog or site in a neat looking rectangular box. Take this as a step ahead of LinkedIn’s default site-buttons that only link to your profile page. The information at LinkedInAbox is displayed inside the box without you having to leave the web page you are on.

Information that you can choose to display are your profile summary, specialities, education, experience, public profile, recommendations, connections, and ‘drop me a line’. You can choose from six color themes for the box or choose to put a background picture.

Email Linkify

Email Linkify is a Greasemonkey script that you can use on your Firefox browser. It changes all the emails in your online inbox or websites into web links. Clicking these links adds the emails into your LinkedIn Contact List.

LinkedIn Contacts Management

LinkedIn Contacts Management is a desktop application that functions as a mailing list manager allowing you to send emails to all your LinkedIn contacts at one go. The tool imports your LinkedIn contact list information complete with name, email, country, company, etc. You can filter this list later according to your requirements. You can also export your data in a CSV or text format.

LinkedIn Contacts

LinkedIn Contacts is a Facebook application that allows you to share your LinkedIn contacts on your Facebook profile or share them with your friends. So if you know someone in LinkedIn who could be of help to one of your Facebook friends, then this might be a good way to introduce them to each other.

My Company’s Hiring

My Company’s Hiring is another Facebook application that you can use to display available job positions in you organization. Does your company pay referral fee to anyone who brings in new employees to the organization? If the answer is yes, then it’s time you use the power of social networking to help you earn a part of this fee.

My Resume is another Facebook application that lets you post your Linkedin profile or your resume on Facebook. You can use this tool to request resumes from your Facebook friends. There is a listing of Top 100 resumes ranked by the number of recommendations. You can search for resume and there is a country specific listing as well.

To view resumes for professionals who are not in you immediate network, you need to earn credits by inviting your friends to see your resume, writing or getting a recommendation.

LinkedIn hResume

LinkedIn hResume is a WordPress plugin to display your LinkedIn profile in your WordPress blog in your own customized design. It does the job by using the hResume microformat block from your LinkedIn page.

You need to set your LinkedIn profile to Full View in order to make this plugin work.

LinkedIn Toolbars

LinkedIn Tools is set of official tools from LinkedIn itself consisting of a outlook toolbar, browser toolbar for Firefox and Internet Explorer, email signature, Mac search widget, and a Google toolbar assistant.

With the Outlook toolbar, you can update your Outlook contacts with LinkedIn profile and receive notification when your contacts make any changes in their profiles. The browser toolbar has a search form and provides access to various LinkedIn profiles. The Jobs Insider tool in the browser toolbar allows you to check out job openings at popular job sites and connect you to people in your network who work in a recruitment company.

Export LinkedIn Connections

Export LinkedIn Connections – This is another tool from LinkedIn that allows you to export your LinkedIn contacts to Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Yahoo! Address Book, or Mac OS Address Book as a CSV or VCF file. Detailed instructions for each of the services are given on the LinkedIn site.

LinkedIn Search Engines for Firefox

LinkedIn Search Engines for Firefox is a plugin that adds the LinkedIn search options to the Firefox browser’s default search box in the upper right hand corner of the browser. There are two engines available. The first one allows you to search contacts by name, title, or organization. The second one allows you to search for jobs in the LinkedIn network.

Source: Mashable.com


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.