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December 10, 2006

Summary of Del.Icio.Us Highlights

Before we even get to anything relating to our topic - social networking sites used as marketing tools - I just want to mention something really cool on the del.icio.us account that will soon be the next big thing that people talk about -

Hamachi.

Hamachi is a small, free program that tricks your computer into thinking that it's logged into your home network. All you have to do is install it on a computer on your network and give it a username and password. Any computer with hamachi can then access the network if you just provide the name and password. The really awesome thing here is that it is "zero setup," which basically means that aside from a password and a few clicks on your firewall, you don't have to do anything to set it up - it just sits there.

I use it for accessing my iTunes share from anywhere. Now I don't have to store my 50 or so GB of music on my laptop and I can still listen to it as though I'm still on my home network. You can also use it for gaming, file sharing, etc.

Now that's out of the way...

We love trying to figure out what's just ahead of the curve for social networking sites. That's why links such as this, this, and this were so interesting for us. The first deals with what could become the 2007 version of youtube (in our opinion, that'd actually be "youtube," but you can't fault people for asking the question), the second is CBS' deal with youtube (which we blogged on), and the last is the subject of the most recent entry.

Matt was most excited about the NHL deal and has three entries on del.icio.us devoted to it. As he worked in a team's marketing department, he knows the importance that the league places on expanding via the internet.

Networks giving their own shows MySpace pages was also pretty interesting and cool, with FX (under the Fox Network - Fox, of course, owns MySpace) leading the trend with their promotion of the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia page. (It doesn't hurt that the show is awesome, by the way.)

Oh - and in the show, the characters reference the fact that they've got myspace pages for themselves, and it becomes a main plot device in the 2nd season's finale. How's that for synergy!?

On that note, another thing we found really cool was the fact that youtube found a haven for politicans, and that for the elections, campaign videos were put up in their own little area of the site. This page shows all the candidates in a nice little list. We thought this was interesting at first, until we realized that by offering space equally to all candidates, youtube proved that it wasn't going to take sides or turn a blind eye if these commercials got uploaded as any other videos. Probably smart on their end.

Well, that's the best of the best in our eyes. Through the semester, we've seen a glut of articles pop up regarding the creative use of social network sites by companies looking for the next big thing. From the beginning when the NHL took the lead on partnering with youtube, to CBS' lucrative partnership with the site, to the last article that talked about the networks' desire to break and form their own ad-supported site, we learned a lot about the heads of marketing execs everywhere.

The main idea here is that these companies have to attach themselves to something quickly. If CBS didn't embrace youtube, its content would be put up there and CBS would see no ad revenue. If they requested youtube remove it, they wouldn't get the publicity. This works out best for them. Same for the NHL.

It's just a matter of time before something new and different happens. Networks are starting to put their own content on their own websites but it's still too complicated for many average users to figure out.

The first network to come along and provide a simple interface with a flash-based player that everyone can enjoy will really take this one, and frankly, we're surprised nobody has done it yet.

Posted by moday at December 10, 2006 11:14 PM

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