Facebook Connect, check

It’s about time I mention this, I’ve had a draft laying around for almost 3 months with the title ‘Social Connect’ which referred to the release of Google Connect. Since then, a lot of things have happened in the “open social world”, Facebook launched Facebook Connect, which lets you sign in to an external site using your Facebook identity. This is useful in many ways; obviously people with a Facebook account will never have to register for your site, but it also creates additional sharing (and caring) opportunities.

As an example, if you sign in on Oscar and Friends using your Facebook identity and then make a comment to a post, Facebook Connect will ask whether or not you’d like to publish this comment to your Facebook feed, displaying what you wrote here in your Facebook profile, handy.

This is all made possible thanks to a nifty Facebook engineer named Adam Hupp and his Facebook Connect plugin for WordPress. There’s also another popular WordPress plugin called Sociable! which does the same thing, Sociable! also adds more community effects to your site. I found that the basic (and somewhat official) one is the cleanest and does not interfere too much with your normal ‘business’. There has also been similar plugins developed for a lot of other platforms.

Try it out and publish it to your feed to see what it looks like!

Social Media Networking/Marketing

Talk about an explosion, it seems that Social Media Networking is still very much alive and hyped to the roof (the growth rate was estimated at +400% for 2007). But now, the first real battle has to be won. With growing criticism the last few couple of months towards how Social Media affects a brand – it will be interesting to see if some of the giants are forced out of the market because companies will start to re-evaluate their participation in Social Media Marketing, or if simply a lot of the Social Media sites (as in Social Web Applications) will start to focus more on what consumers write instead of businesses or newspapers. Of course, most of them are generated by user content, but a lot of the primary sources, such as a newspaper/magazine post is more often from a more trustworthy source than from someone like me – a wannabe blog journalist.

Of course, there are already a few sites that focus more on the U2U or C2C kind of aspect rather than the B2C side of things. But there still seem to be an overwhelming amount of Social Web Applications out there that doesn’t really provide a service which is needed. But again, who would have thought Facebook was “needed”?

I’ve recently tried out Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon and Twitter and I’d have to say that StumbleUpon and Twitter are the only sites that I found somewhat cool and useful. It’s a great way to find new sites and resources that might be of interest to you, as well as get real-time news and updates of course (Twitter). Digg might be half useful, but if you already use an RSS-reader it’s utterly overflow I suppose.

Who’s here to stay and who will have to go?