What a week for the business of Social Media

by Tom Tsinas July 30th, 2007 

What a week it's been for the business of Social Media. Telecom giant Nokia acquired social media sharing service Twango, the YouTube CNN debates delivered solid ratings and Sun Microsystems said its latest earnings report today will be released on its website 10 minutes before it is distributed to news services.

"Nokia's unique vision for social media aligns perfectly with Twango," enthused Jim Laurel, co-founder of Twango.com. "It's really exciting to imagine what we can achieve by combining our social media experience with the resources of a company that has played such a major role in shaping the mobile landscape." What makes this noteworthy is that social networking has yet to make the leap to the mobile phone arena. If you recall, late last year Nokia launched musicrecommenders.com, a site that recommends new music based on user's preferences. With this purchase, Nokia is trying to bridge that divide.

Were you one of the more than 2,000 people who submitted questions to the candidates via YouTube or just one of the throngs who watched the Democratic presidential candidate's debates? According to Nielsen Media Research, the debate averaged 2.6 million viewers, delivering the highest viewership for a debate among adults 18-34 in cable news history. Among adults 25-54, another prized demographic, the YouTube debate averaged 890,000. What we saw here was that Social Media is no longer for young people. It is beginning to spread across multiple age barriers and into mainstream media. I loved this format and look forward to the next one.

Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz used his blog last week to announce that Sun would begin releasing important corporate news first over the internet. This is thought to be the first time a US company has used social media as its main channel for price-sensitive stock information.

Schwartz went on to say "this will place, for the first time, the general investing public – those with a Web browser or a cell phone – on the same footing as those with access to private subscription services. In effect, driving an open dialog directly with investors, rather than routing information through proprietary sources." At one point, Schwartz muses "I wonder how far off we are from ceasing to issue traditional press releases altogether after all; no news agency could possibly suggest they reach a greater portion of the planet than the Internet."

Despite the fact I know many who'd welcome this; I doubt we've seen the end of the traditional press release. All in all last week saw three ground breaking announcements in the world of social media. Can't wait to see what this week has in store!!

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