How it will be the social networking of the future?
Mashable.com predicts that in the future the management of our network will be dynamic and automated.
"The system will make and break connections to ensure maximum value. As updates are posted, for example, only those relevant to you at the present moment will make it through the filter to your PMC."
"Social networking may also become more integrated with other components of our digital lives, like our calendars, address books and GPS. When going to a scheduled meeting with someone, you may be presented with recent and relevant posts that person made on Facebook to help prepare for small talk."
So it seems that the problem is that social networking as it exits today requires users to invest a lot of time to extract value. Users must diligently manage their community of friends and followers.
If you are a news junkie, iPad's aggregation apps might leave you to the paradise.
Last month I wrote about my iPad news readers. Then I have discovered many more: Taptu, Fluent News, Flud, News360, PressReader.
These apps gather news feeds and display them in flippable form. Most of the apps are free, and they provide feeds from hundreds of news sources geared to your interests. You can create a magazine with customized content, as well as with Facebook and Twitter posts.
Also, it is worth noting that next month Apple will introduce its own newsstand with the release of its iOS 5 update. It will ressemble iBooks and it will organize magazine and newspaper app subscriptions on iPhone and iPads. In addition, that update will allow mobile Safari browser to save items to read later offline.
Articles will be able to be saved iCloud, to be read on any device set up with that user's account. Paid services like Read it Later or Instaper permit now this functionality.
Watch out: now Facebook, with its dozen of partner companies, wants to shape what you watch, hear, read and buy.
Mark Zuckerberg announced this week a torrent of updates about what you and your Facebook friends are doing online. Also, he unveiled a new feature called Timeline that lets users post information about their past, like important milestones in their lives.
In short, Facebook, in battle with Google, tries to change the way people find what they want online. Now people search the Web to discover content. Zuckerberg wants friends direct other friends to content.
This can change the game for what social networks have been doing.
Companies like Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, The Washington Post, Yahoo News, Tickermaster and others are teaming with Facebook for distributing their products. However, it still remains unclear exactly how much more revenue a Facebook friend recommendation can generate.
Bottom line is that Facebook, with its 800 million users, wants to collect valuable data about its users' habits and desires, which in turn can be used to sell more fine-tuned advertised.
Zuckerberg is taking advantage from the fact that many Americans spent more time with Facebook than with the next four largest Web brands combined, according to Nielsen.
Facebook is becoming -in my view, for worse- synonymous with the Internet experience.
It is unclear how users will react to the new features. And it is unclear how far can go the peer recommendations model.
I agree with the view of the founder of People Browsr that I read in the Times:
“Facebook wants to be omnipresent in the Web experience by adding commerce, video and mail to their early successes with news feeds and picture tagging. Trying to be all things to all people was the undoing of Microsoft and AOL. If Facebook continues to overreach, they will stumble.”
Video is fast becoming a critical part of news Web sites.
The Wall Street Journal announced last week that is adding live video programming, and for that is releasing a new video app called WSJ Live for iPads and for set-top boxes, Boxee, Yahoo TV platforms and Internet-connected televisions from Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and other manufacturers.
The streams are free without any pay wall areas of The Journal.
The WSJ Live doesn't have big personalities, just the The Journal's existing staff. It does feature slick graphics, branded segments and TV-like pauses for commercial breaks.
PayPal, with 100 million active user accounts, is planning to handle payments in brick-and-mortar stores. The eBay's company will allow merchants to use their existing credit card terminals to accept payments through PayPal.
Offline payments are a big opportunity for start-ups. A number of companies like Square are trying to replace cash registers and credit card terminals by letting consumer make purchases with their mobile phones.
It is interesting to watch how PayPal sees the future of money (above's video).
As visual information grows exponentially, you must pay attention to your video marketing. And here YouTube, with 2 billion views per day and an average of 15 minutes of daily watching per user, is crucial.
Therefore, let me highlight some key considerations for video marketing on YouTube.
Tag and categorize correctly each video in order to get it found.
Include keywords and phrases that might drive related clicks-throughs.
Take advantage of related videos by creating content that fits into a community or add value to a tribe.
Align yourself with video content creators in your niche and position your video to receive referral traffic accordingly.
Promote your videos even long after you've uploaded them. People need time to view them and share them with their friends. Online video goes through a maturation phase: 80% of views occur more than two months after upload.
Always offer quality and variety. People will stay tuned for as long as it lasts the video. All count as content: a look behind the scenes, the aftermath, stunts, rehearsals, interviews, bloopers...
Try to create viral-friendly content with translates across many platforms.
Embed your video on social networks, blogs and many other platforms in order make them viral.
Shared and mobile content has become so significant that traditional website is no longer sufficient. And since technology moves so fast, there are some hot trends that must be followed.
I have collected seven trends:
Flexible Websites. A single website must serve several media purposes successfully (traditional browser, iPad, iPhone...). Use CSS media queries to serve multiple layouts based on device and screen dimensions so that the website is flexible enough to display properly and cleanly.
HTML5-ready Websites. HTML5 is the next major revision of HTML that is seeing a wider adoption. It offers an integration tool with social media. Microsoft, Google and Facebook have already started implementing it.
Simple navigation with easy to follow messages. Some experts like to talk about the "editorial layout": brief articles with subheadings and large images. This is because the short time your website has to grab the attention of the visitor. It is said the the average attention span is about 8 to 10 seconds. Then if you succeed, you probably have another 2 to 3 minutes to present relevant information to the visitor.
Staying secure. Visitors want reassurance that they are at the right website and the site is secure. Trust seals and certificates like Extended Validation SSL Certificates, help when shopping online.
Mobile E-Commerce and Mobile-friendly Websites. Shoppers are increasingly using smartphones for price comparisons, loyalty programs, finding local inventory and making online purchases.
Social Sharing designs. Visitors should be able to user their browser plug-in or widgets like Facebook Lice, Twitter, Linkedin Share, Sharethis, Addthis, etc.
Website Measurement; data rich analytics report. Pay attention to your analytics after setting your goals. Find where your best visitors came from and which campaigns work.
Last month while broadcasting live a business event in Manhattan, I noticed that online conversation about the keynote speaker was bigger than the one happening in the lobby. I told it to the organizers and they got alarmed. They had no idea!
Using Twitter at a conference or event requires planning and legwork. Do things properly and you will get a great Twitter presence.
Pick an original hashtag before the event, so your followers get accustomed to using it. Our friends and customers of Fundacion Telefónica do it in every event.
Tell people to tweet. Include the hashtag in any promotional materials. Show off the latest tweets on TV monitors at the event.
Use your official account to tweet the day's schedule, quotes from speakers, questions, tips, links to press coverage and whatever you thinks your followers might care to hear.
Ask your speakers to tweet, informing them about the hashtag. Doing so, you will grow your overall following.
Save all the tweets from the conference. You can use for that Twapper Keeper, a free service, will archive tweets with a specific hashtag. Just be sure to set it up before the event.
The Pentagon's DARPA agency offers $42 million in funding to develop plans to use social media as both a resource and a weapon in future conflicts.
Think about it: detecting and tracking the spread of ideas, signs of widespread rebellion, sentiment detection, patterns of information flow, topic trend analysis, opinion mining... all this stuff will be key and it will change the nature of warfare, and the Pentagon does not want to be caught short.
See the unrest in Egypt and Iran... or in a lower scale, the movement of the "indignados" in my native country Spain.
For the Pentagon it will be useful to know whether signs of widespread rebellion are authentic or whether they are being created by a fringe group with little real support.
Social media in strategic communications can allow the military to follow and shape the action.
In a 37-page solicitation document, DARPA explains that "proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems."