Social media can be a bit daunting if you don't take a moment to make sense of it all.

(Brand marketers and agencies: Feel free to replace "voter turnout" with "product sales," as well as replacing "politician/candidate" with "brand.")

There’s been much attention paid recently to whether or not social networking and community-based sites will embrace advertising. It's a touchy subject for publishers in this realm, and understandably so.

I had to laugh when I read someone's email signature the other day. It was about a paragraph long. Not only did he have the typical contact info -- direct line, fax, email, URL -- he had a host of links to his blogs, social media sites and instant messenger handles.

We've seen the online world change a lot over the past 15 years. We've seen several shifts in the key battlegrounds for control of the value generated by consumers' use of online services.

First, let me say this: GO GIANTS!!! Moving on.

Sapient revealed the results of its annual Interactive Marketing Survey. This survey is designed to understand how marketers are implementing and tracking campaigns, the challenges they face and how they plan to allocate marketing spend across channels in 2008.

Last week in "Media Metric Hypocrisy" I discussed the misalignment of critical metrics considered across various media (television vs. print vs. online).

Move Over Maslow: How fulfilling 6 human social needs creates business value from social networks

Some new thinking for marketers on which type of social network is most likely to produce the results they’re looking for comes from new research from Communispace.

Social Media Applications, such as MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, will attract over one billion broadband users within five years, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics.

Content creation by teenagers continues to grow, with 64% of online teenagers ages 12 to 17 engaging in at least one type of content creation, up from 57% of online teens in 2004.

How much can social networks net?

Social networking is an Internet success story.

This year, 37% of the US adult Internet population used online social networking at least once a month. That figure will rise to 49% in 2011.

Launched in February of 2007, Kupass.com is growing in the social networking phenomenon within the Hispanic and Latin American community. Headquartered in San Antonio, Texas with offices in Miami, Florida, Colombia, Italy and China.

All marketing is "word of mouth"; it's just a question whose mouth the marketing words/messages are coming from. Give a brand a chance and it will be happy to tell you all about itself.

OPTIMIZATION -- that fancy word for making a selling process more relevant and engaging for your customer --could be said to have four major approaches that have critical value for marketers: experimentation, targeting, behavioral and social.

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