Charity and Social Media

Information on Social Media, Social Network monetization, Charity Social Media Initiatives, Major Brands, Social Trends and other widgets applications and social media resources

Google turns whole web into social network December 9, 2008

Google turns whole web into social network

By: Vincent Maher

It was just a matter of time before Google started to leverage the massive base of Google accounts to connect everyone together. As usual, this new Google project is ambitious – instead of creating a new social network as a destination site, the new Friend Connect service takes the network to where the people already are – on blogs and websites.

Friend Connect ( comes in the form of a sidebar for websites and blogs that has a powerful viral invitation tool for getting people to join and become part of a community that centres around the content of the site. Website creators and bloggers can invite new community members from a list of Gmail contacts or share the site inside other social networks such as Facebook, MySpace etc.

The genius of it is its simplicity – much like the paradigm-shift brought about by Google’s Adsense – Friend Connect explodes the notion of social networking completely and enables any website to be a component of a global social network.

How does it work? Website creators log in to FriendConnect using their Gmail accounts, download some code and put it on the site. Once this is done, there are several gadgets that can be embedded into the site to enhance the community aspect once people have joined your network:

  • a wall gadget so people can post videos, comments and other bits of social lint onto your site;
  • a review gadget so people can discuss how cool or lame you are depending on their mood, and,
  • most importantly, an OpenSocial gadget that allows you to embed OpenSocial applications inside your site.

The scale of it is grand, like the Israelites toppling the walls of Jericho with their trumpets, or the rumble of elephants and infantry descending upon the Rhône.

Forget the social network as a walled garden, forget social networks as destination sites – FriendConnect turns the whole web into a social network.

Jeff Palumbo—

The great social network debate is unified profiles -vs- singular social networks. Googles friendconnect is a giant leap for the unified profile. Under the unified profile we will see profiles connected to one another in a more conventional life fashion with out or with little reprensentation of where the profile was created. Under the social network side we have a community for bikers, schools, charities, etc. as one community that you and your profile are a part of. This is a great method for many community types such as an independent private school, a church or a charity where belonging to that community means more than belonging to a website like bed bath and beyond.

This relates to many businesses. How can I leverage my social initivitave with in this great debate. If your company is seeking the relestate of the profile you need to be an application or widget. If you company seeks the verticle community you need your own social network. Which is better? They both serve their purpose and hold value to the respective business that uses them. The unified profile allows the profile owner to dictate the content on their profile. The community allows an enclosed colaboration between people under a percieved community.


Friendster Receives Patent on Compatibility Scoring of Online Social Network Users

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec 09, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Friendster, Inc., a top 20 global website based on traffic and the #1 social network in Asia, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has awarded the social networking pioneer a new U.S. Patent, titled “Compatibility Scoring of Users in a Social Network” (U.S. Patent No. 7,451,161). Friendster has been granted four patents since July 2006, validating the company’s early and continuous innovation in online social networking.

Friendster’s latest patent, granted on November 11, 2008, describes a unique methodology used to calculate compatibility based on expressed interests between users of a social network. This includes scoring the compatibility between two members of a social network based on their interests and scoring the correlation between two interests for a given member of a social network.
“In just six years, social networking has become both an industry — since 8 of the top 20 largest websites in the world are social networks — and a critical platform for over half a billion Internet users globally to share, communicate, connect and be entertained with existing and new friends, family and colleagues,” said Richard Kimber, chief executive officer of Friendster. “A core component of the evolution of social networks is the ability of the online ‘social graph’ to represent our real social life. Understanding the common interests between people establishes common ground to build and enhance relationships.”
Prior to this most recent fourth patent, Friendster was granted three social networking patents in 2006 and 2007:
— In July 2006, Friendster was awarded its first U.S. patent describing how people are connected in the context of an online social network, titled “A System, Method and Apparatus for Connecting Users in an Online Computer System Based on Their Relationships within Social Networks” (U.S. Patent No. 7,069,308).
— Friendster was granted a second U.S. patent in October 2006, which discloses the process of enriching other users’ profiles with text, video, pictures and additional content, titled “Method of Inducing Content Uploads in a Social Network” (U.S. Patent No. 7,117,254).
— In March 2007, Friendster added another patent to its portfolio, titled “System and Method for Managing Connections in an Online Social Network” (U.S. Patent No. 7,188,153 B2), which describes a technology that allows members of a social network to manage their connections by, for example, adding friends; personalizing their network through arranging, ordering and classifying connections made in an online community; and managing these connections at will.
“Since launching the first social network in 2002, Friendster has continued to build and own a significant patent portfolio. Friendster’s four patents address many fundamentals of social networking — establishing connections, distributing and sharing content, managing connections over time and assessing compatibility between users. Friendster’s patent portfolio is one of several assets of the company. Friendster anticipates receiving more patents, and we will continue to focus on growing our large global business into an even larger one,” said Kimber.
Friendster Leads in Asia and is a Top 20 Global Website
Friendster is the #1 social network in Asia, with over 65 million registered users and over 50 million monthly unique visitors from Asia.* In Asia, Friendster has more monthly unique visitors than any other social network. Plus, Asia is the largest market of Internet users (Asia has 41% of the world’s Internet users while the U.S. has only 19%), and Asia is the fastest growing region in the world.** Friendster has a loyal and growing user base throughout Asia in the following top 10 countries for Friendster: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and South Korea.
Friendster is a top 20 global website in the world in terms of traffic, serving over 18 billion page views a month.** Friendster is 1st in “user engagement” among the top five global social networks, with users spending an average of 187 minutes per visitor per month on**
About Friendster
With more than 90 million members worldwide, Friendster is a leading global online social network. Friendster is focused on helping people stay in touch with friends and discover new people and things that are important to them. Online adults, 18 and up, choose Friendster to connect with friends, family, school, social groups, activities and interests. Friendster prides itself in delivering an easy-to-use, friendly and interactive environment where users can easily connect with anyone around the world via or from any Internet-ready mobile device. Friendster has a growing portfolio of patents granted to the company on social networking, with more expected over the next several months. Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Friendster is backed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, IDG Ventures and individual investors. For more information, visit:
*Google Analytics and Friendster Internal Data, September 2008
**comScore Media Metrix, Asia Pacific and Worldwide Data, September 2008
SOURCE Friendster, Inc.


Social Media ad Spending decline, demands inproved results

 The global financial crisis and drastically lower consumer spending, as indicated by Friday’s Commerce Department report of a 2.8% drop in October retail sales, has forced marketers to slash budgets and seek better performing alternatives.

The consumer spending recession is quickly “trickling-down” to cause a traditional media depression. Research from Jack Myers Media Business Reports indicates up to double-digit declines for newspapers, magazines, broadcast radio and television in 2008. And there appears to be no good news in sight, as sales are projected to decline further in each of these media sectors in 2009.

The future of marketing is results driven advertising. Pay-For-Performance models stand to dominate in down market trends.


Social Networking/Charity Mashups November 20, 2008

Cause-Related Marketing in the Newest Social Media

In the last quarter three charity/social networking mashups have crossed my desk, each with their own distinctive tang. All three are in beta, that is, they’re works in progress. All are for-profit endeavors. All could benefit from a little ‘network effect’ love.

The network effect aka Metcalf’s Law postulates that the value of a network is proportionate to the square of the number of users. That is, a network only starts demonstrating value after reaching the critical mass described by the equation.

In other words, each of these outfits has some selling to do.

uPlej. With an approach that could probably only come from Utah is uPlej, which owes its business model as much to multi-level marketing as it does to Facebook.

Here’s how it works: you sign up as a member of uPlej and designate a charity, create your own profile, alert your personal network to your new uPlej page and UPlej dings your credit card for $4.99 a month. Of that, $4 goes directly to the charity, and the remaining $0.99 goes to uPlej’s operations and fees for processing credit cards and the like.

What’s the appeal? Well if just 4 of your friends also join uPlej, then your designated charity could receive perhaps $85 a month (more or less)! Here’s how: “The charity calculator works on the premise that each of your ‘friends’ tells just 4 people each, who tell just 4 people, and so on through 3 degrees.

“For every person you tell that visits your user page and signs up, you receive $1.00 for the cause YOU have elected to support. For every person they tell that visits their user page and signs up, you also get $1.00 for your cause, and so on through 3 degrees. Everybody that you tell that joins your network is your first degree, everybody that joins the network of anybody on your first degree (anybody that they tell), becomes your second degree, and so on. This gives you the opportunity, for only your $4.99 monthly payment, to raise a significant amount of money for your cause every month—simply by connecting with other charitable individuals.”

As I write this, you can choose from uPlej’s universe of 150 charities, a number they’re working hard to increase. uPlej is not a charity, it’s a fundraising company that uses the power of a networked downline to raise money for charities.

Just Cause. Like uPlej, Just Cause is a for-profit entity as well. But they prefer to think of themselves as a ‘for-benefit’ company, ala Newman’s Own and Peacekeeper Cause-Metics. Just Cause bills itself as “social networking with a purpose.”

Causes, individuals, and companies can all set up accounts and start talking about what their doing to make the world better, mainly through blogs. You can create or join user groups, post events, seek volunteers, donors, supporters, etc.

There’s more than 150 blogs currently being posted on the Just Cause site and about 60 nonprofits. Just Cause also publishes a magazine by the same name, expects to sponsor community events. The magazine is distributed with participating ‘city magazines’ in Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago and elsewhere. Just Cause says that the glue that holds all the pieces together is its approach to telling ‘stories.’

Do Good Channel from good2gether. The Do Good Channel is a kind of localized charity directory that allows you to search charities by type, participation, opportunities. But what really sets it apart is that it can also generates income for participating charities and enables searches that connect current news with charitable missions.

Here’s how. good2gether gives an Internet ‘widget’ to local TV, radio and newspaper media outlets. When a story is posted about, say, the crisis in Darfur, the widget points to local nonprofit resources that are working on the problem. The widget displays information in a frame on the media outlet’s website, which it can sell. If the reader clicks on one of the nonprofit links, it connects to a Do Good page where they find a profile of the pertinent nonprofit(s).

The profile or elements of the profile can be emailed, sent to Facebook, added to your calendar, etc. The profile is free to the nonprofit and relatively easy to generate. Better, the charity can sell the sponsorship of the page which it splits 65:35 with good2gether, which operates Do Good. To participate in this part of the service, the charity has to agree to charge a minimum of $100 per sponsor and limit it to no more six sponsors.

good2gether launched the Do Good Channel in Boston this month and is scheduled to add several top 10 markets per month over the next few months, including San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.

There are elements of cause-related marketing in each of these approaches. uPlej enables a kind cause-related marketing for your personal brand, (although there’s no reason why a company couldn’t be a uPlej member too). Just Cause could certainly host a blog about your cause-related marketing campaign. The Do Good Channel in effect invites charities to connect to sponsors.

Memelabs, the user-generated video contest platform company,

Memelabs, the user-generated video contest platform company, today announces the release of a custom version of memelabs to help non-profit organizations and charities easily create and manage User Generated Video (UGV) campaigns online. The company is rolling out a pilot version of the new platform for Apathy is Boring, a Canadian non-partisan project that uses art, media, and technology to encourage active citizenry.

Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) — Memelabs, the user-generated video contest platform company, today announces the release of a custom version of memelabs to help non-profit organizations and charities easily create and manage User Generated Video (UGV) campaigns online. The company is rolling out a pilot version of the new platform for Apathy is Boring, a Canadian non-partisan project that uses art, media, and technology to encourage active citizenry.

Memelabs helps organizations promote viral video marketing that gain targeted exposure for marketing campaigns online, such as the successful viral video contests the company launched for Wells Fargo, Intrawest, Texas Instruments and Garden State Life.

In three easy steps marketers have a fully customized video contest ready for launch.

  • Design: the customer can supply its own design or the Memelabs team works with the client to create a design; a fully customizable CSS with 100% share of brand.
  • Integration: the Memelabs team applies the design to its contest platform, and can advise on and implement additional social media outreach strategies.
  • Promotion: the Memelabs team helps to get the word out through social media tools, such as blogs, newsletters, bookmarks to its user base of over 100,000 people and partnerships with 40 film schools. These are film makers and enthusiasts who have previously signed up and participated in memelabs contests.

Once the contest is up and running, videos are submitted by consumers for voting and ranking by the user base. Memelabs constantly monitors video submissions, rankings and commentary to ensure no fraudulent or offensive activity takes place. In addition, this version gives customers access to the back-end platform from which clients can manage campaign details.

“We chose to integrate memelabs into our National Video Contest as it was the perfect medium to reach our target demographic, Canadian youth, in an engaging and user friendly online environment. We’ve also received an incredible amount of support from memelabs, whether in site development, marketing strategy, and content management, making our campaign a cinch to update and maintain,” comments Apathy is Boring’s Development Coordinator Adrienne Smith. “Memelabs’ commitment to the Apathy is Boring cause has made them a perfect partner for us and we look forward to our continued collaboration.”

Apathy is Boring wants young Canadians to grab their video cameras and cell phones and tell their vision for the next 250 years of Canada and enter this in an online contest at the Apathy is Boring contest site. Running July-September, 2008, one national contest winner will receive a grand prize: a trip to Halifax for the winner to attend and showcase their video during a Youth Dialogue hosted by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, on September 20th. More information on the Governor General’s Youth Dialogues is available at The winner will also receive backstage passes to the Apathy is Boring Concert featuring artists ill Scarlett.

“New conversations are emerging online between organizations and consumers and as social media has now become part of the mainstream, organizations are looking for new ways to engage with its customers,” comments Dario Meli, co-founder and partner, memelabs. “Memelabs creates this bridge – engaging, encouraging and supporting positive interaction and inspiring community development. All we ask of organizations is to bring their marketing idea and we’ll put it into action.”

About memelabs
Memelabs is the first platform for companies to effectively roll out consumer-generated online video contests to gain brand loyalty in the Web 2.0 world. Easily and efficiently marketers can take advantage of the growing social marketing trends of consumer online video production, viral video marketing and consumer participation in online contests.