Friday, August 24, 2007

Your Social Network Can Make You Skinny! (Wellsphere Blog)

Your Social Network Can Make You Skinny! (Wellsphere Blog): "Your Social Network Can Make You Skinny! Harvard researchers prove that being part of a social network of people getting in shape can help you lose weight! San Francisco, Calif., August 16, 2007 — A groundbreaking study released by the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that weight loss can spread from person to person through social networks of friends and families. The study showed the same effect for weight gain and weight loss, finding that “the relevance of social influence also suggests that it may be possible to harness this same force to slow the spread of obesity. “Network phenomena might be exploited to spread positive health behaviors… People are connected, and so their health is connected.” This mirrors the model underlying Wellsphere ( ), an online community recently launched by Stanford graduates that is specifically designed for people to help each other eat better, lose weight get fit and unwind"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog

Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog:

There is about 15 different sites available:

"Web 2.0 Invites for August 23rd, 2007 August 23, 2007 — 01:30 AM PDT — by Pete Cashmore — Share This — 6 Comments masinvites.PNG Happy Thursday, fellow early adopter. Invites await!"

Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog

Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog:

"Yahoo Teachers: Social Network for Teachers August 23, 2007 — 11:37 AM PDT — by Pete Cashmore — Share This — 3 Comments yteachers.PNG Yahoo is building a combination of social network, collaborative space and (most of all), lesson plan creator for educators called Yahoo Teachers."

Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog

Mashable! - The Social Networking Blog: "YouTube Users Hate Ads; Won’t Make Money Anyway August 23, 2007 — 12:33 PM PDT — by Pete Cashmore — Share This — 3 Comments vidads.PNG The reactions are in from YouTube users about the addition of video ads, and it’s a wholly negative response. Part of the issue is that the YouTube blog tried to spin this as a way of putting users in control (obviously unwanted ads provide less control, not more), and partly it’s the end of the free lunch that YouTube has given users thus far. Some selected responses to the announcement:"

Looking To Invest In Social Media? Check Out Classmates Media's IPO (Social Networking Stats also)

Looking To Invest In Social Media? Check Out Classmates Media's IPO

larry dignan Something a little bit different. Notice the visitation numbers in the graph:

Larry Dignan ( ZDNet) submits: United Online's (UNTD ) Classmates Media (CLAS) unit filed for a $125 million IPO in what could be a good litmus test for social media plays on Wall Street. Classmates isn't Facebook ( all resources), but does have enough name recognition to garner interest for investors looking to buy into the social media hubbub.

The company plans to trade under the ticker "CLAS" and has lined up some heavyweight investment bankers-Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank.

With the IPO it appears that Classmates is trying to front run some buzz ahead of social media peers such as Facebook and LinkedIn. MySpace is already part of Rupert Murdoch's empire. Classmates, which seems like it has been around forever, has 50 million registered user accounts as of June 30 and 2.7 million paid accounts.

Not too shabby for a site I've basically left for dead aside from a few visits following email prodding. It's also not bad for a site that doesn't rank among class.pngthe top global social sites, according to Comscore. Classmates Media also includes MyPoints, a loyalty marketing service with 8.4 million members as of June 30.

After the IPO, United Online will control the company's Class B shares and Classmates. Classmates' IPO filing didn't detail how much United Online will own. United Online , which also owns NetZero, acquired Classmates in November 2004. MyPoints went public in 1999, and was acquired by United Airlines' parent in 2001. United Media then bought MyPoints in April 2006.

As for the financial outlook, Classmates Media is running a small loss. For the quarter ending March 30, the company had a net loss of $250,000 on revenue of $42.4 million. For 2006, the company had a profit of $171,000 on revenue of $152 million. The annual results are on a pro forma basis as if MyPoints and Classmates had been combined. Both were subsidiaries of United Online.

The biggest risk factor mentioned by Classmates is competition with the usual suspects. From the SEC filing:

Our social networking services compete with a wide variety of social networking Web sites, including broad social networking Web sites such as MySpace and Facebook; a number of specialty Web sites, including LinkedIn, and 's (MNST) service, that offer similar online social networking services based on school, work or military communities; and an increasing number of schools, employers and associations that maintain their own Internet-based alumni information services.


Our MyPoints loyalty marketing business faces competition for members from several other loyalty programs that offer competitive online products and services, including Ebates, Upromise and ThankYou Network. We also face competition from offline loyalty rewards programs that have a significant online presence, such as those operated by credit card, airline and hotel companies.

The company's plan seems to be increasing and maintaining paying subscribers, a tough chore considering "only a small percentage of members initially registering for our social networking services sign up for a paid subscription at the time of registration."

I have seen a few folks pay for, but it takes repeated emails. More often than not people try Classmates, but don't buy. To wit:

The number of free members returning to our Web sites has been decreasing, and if we were to continue to experience such decreases, it would likely adversely impact our number of paying subscribers.

Bottom line: From United Online's perspective the IPO is a nice move to monetize Classmates at what could be the peak of the social media buzz. For investors, the deal may not be such a no-brainer.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Twitter, new features - Introducing People Search

Via email:

Hello Twitter-ers,

It's new feature season and we're starting with People Search.
This new Twitter feature is great for finding more people to
follow because it searches profile information such as name,
location, bio, and url. Come on by and find out if your friends
are already Twittering and you just didn't know it! The search
field is on the right side of Twitter when you sign in:

Twitter & MTV

We're partnering with MTV for the Video Music Awards next month.
They have some fun ideas which involve artists and celebrities
including the MTV Moonman twittering from Las Vegas during the
whole weekend leading up to the VMA broadcast on Sunday,
September 9th. Also, Twitter's gonna be on TV! We're looking
forward to it. The artists who will be joining Twitter are popular
and you can get their updates by following the Video Music Awards
on Twitter.

Follow VMA:

Nelson is Twitter Family

Speaking of celebrities, the genius behind Google's Search API is
Nelson Minar. Nelson left Google a while back but joined Twitter
months ago as a permanent advisor. Nelson continues to provide us
with engineering advice, helps us work through scaling and
infrastructure details, and in general brings more engineering
"gravitas" to our operation. Nelson is a such valued part of the
Twitter team we gave him an iPhone preloaded with all our phone
numbers. So yeah, Nelson rocks.

A Fine Frenzy

Alison Sudol is the young musician behind A Fine Frenzy and it's
been really fun following her on tour for her first album, One
Cell in The Sea. Some of us from Twitter listened to her sing when
she came to San Francisco and had the opportunity to say hello to
Alison and her grandmother who she brought to the show. Her
grandmother told us she prints out every twitter Alison makes and
worries when she skips a day. (She also prints out Barack Obama's

Follow Alison:

We don't recommend everyone print out Twitter updates as it's not
ecologically sustainable. However, when Alison's grandmother does
it, it's awesome. Okay, that's all for now.

Happy Twittering!
Biz Stone and the Twitter Team

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