Join The Tribe. Exchange Totems.

The New York Times explores the cultural and anthropologic modes found in online social networks. Michael Wesch, who teaches cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, spent two years living with a tribe in Papua New Guinea, studying how people forge social relationships in a purely oral culture. Now he applies the same ethnographic research methods […]

The PG Version of “Sex in the City”

Stuart Elliott of The New York Times looks at how Pepperidge Farm is migrating from the typical consumer packaged goods site to a community site called Art of the Cookie, which purports to offer women social connections through cookies. “We started with this notion of wanting to move our communication with our consumers from telling […]

Yet Another Facebook Story: “Insane” Market Valuation

Publicis Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy called Microsoft’s $240 million dollar investment in Facebook “insane.” He also he termed the investment “unbalanced” relative to the potential advertising value of the social media marketplace. He said the “bloom” was off the “Myspace rose,” and that the exuberance driving investments in online social networks has yet to […]

Yet Another Facebook Story: Legions of Brand Fans on the March

If you’re gonna play the soc net game, you need to score high. You know, like Tila Tequila. Numbers matter! Which is why we need to thank Catharine P. Taylor for keeping score. Despite the fact that Facebook turned her away from their big press conference this week, the lady’s a pro and pros keep […]

Yet Another Facebook Story: Intimacy Problems

Tangerine Toad believes that sites like Facebook promote an “unnatural degree of intimacy.” I’m inclined to agree with him. So there’s an art director I work with who asked to “friend” me on Facebook. Now this art director seems like a nice enough guy, his office is not far from mine and I say hello […]

Yet Another Facebook Story: Friends Selling Friends

Me channeling Mark Zuckerberg: Hey, I know, instead of brands pitching products, let’s get regular people to do it for them. You know, it’ll be like word-of-mouth on crank. According to stories in Ad Age and The New York Times, Facebook’s CEO told a group of clients and press gathered in New York yesterday that […]

MySpace Pushes Its Envelope

MySpace made three major announcements this week—two of which served to underscore a deepening fundamental difference in philosophy from its closest rival, Facebook. The third is a half-hearted attempt to mimic Facebook. 1) MySpace announced Tuesday that it has forged a splashy licensing agreement with Sony BMG—the world’s second largest label—for access to streaming videos, […]

Soc Nets Are The New Epidemic

The New York Times looks at LifeAt.com, a social networking site that creates password-protected Web sites for apartment buildings and housing developments. The company, based in Brooklyn, is surviving on the roughly $6,000 it receives from each building that signs up for the service. It does not charge the buildings yearly fees. More than 335 […]

Don’t Be The Last On Your Block To Integrate A Soc Net

Hoping to woo shoppers who say eBay Inc. has lost its folksy appeal, the world’s largest online auction plans to launch its own version of a social networking service Wednesday and is promising other customer-friendly features by year’s end. The “Neighborhoods” feature encourages users to post photos, product reviews, tips and responses — creating a […]

Facebook And Checkbook Not Yet Synonymous

New York Times is investigating whether any of the 4000 applications that have been introduced to the Facebook platform by second parties are making money for their inventors. As far as the paper knows, no one has made a significant sum. Yet, that hasn’t stopped the money from flowing. In fact, one VC is totally […]