Nachricht des Tages: XING ist fertig entwickelt

In Sachen Werbung auf Mitgliederseiten hat sich XING wirklich alles andere als feinfühlig verhalten. Auch wenn es den einen oder anderen kalt zu lassen scheint, hat es mich schon sehr geärgert, dass meine (Premium-)Profilseite plötzlich zum Werbeträger umfunktioniert wurde. Das man vorab darüber nicht informiert wurde, machte die Sache nicht besser. Als zahlendes Mitglied sehe ich es als selbstverständlich an, dass auf meiner persönlichen Visitenkarte im Netz (und das soll mein XING Profil ja sein) keine quietsch bunten Flash-Banner irgendwelche Last-Minute-Reisen feil bieten. Aber egal, Schnee von gestern. Inzwischen sieht XING das ähnlich und ich hatte eigentlich nicht vor darüber zu schreiben. Aber heute bin ich da über "etwas" (Artikel?, Kommentar?, Glosse?) auf FAZ.NET gestolpert - Titel: "Xing gelangt an die Grenzen des Wachstums". Darin wird der Aufruhr rund um die bösen Banner zum Anlass genommen, um für XING insgesamt mal ein kleines Totenglöckchen zu läuten. Manches in dem Artikel kann man vielleicht so sehen. Aber dann finden sich darin auch Zeilen wie diese:
“Xing braucht keine weitere technische Verbesserung“, sagt etwa Xing-Nutzer Friedhelm Weidelich. Er sieht die Plattform am Ende ihrer Entwicklung angelangt. Einiges könne vielleicht optimiert werden, doch ob das viel Geld kosten muss? “Da ist keine Story für die Börse mehr dahinter“, sagt Weidelich.
Bitte ? Lassen wir mal die Frage beiseite, was der Grund dafür ist, dass man die Einzelmeinung von Premiumnutzer Friedhelm W. aus D. (zu dessen Qualifikation man absolut nichts im Artikel findet) so derart herausstellt. Ist es überhaupt möglich, dass ein Dienst wie XING jemals so etwas wie fertig, komplett, vollständig ist? Reicht es wirklich ab einem bestimmten Punkt aus, nur noch an Bestehendem rumzuoptimieren? Kann man wettbewerbsfähig / interessant bleiben, wenn man aufhört neue Entwicklungen und Ideen aufzugreifen, um so seinen Kunden neue Services bieten zu können? Der Autor der FAZ und sein O-Tongeber würden darauf anscheinend mit einem lauten Ja antworten und ich fürchte, in diesem Land würden viele freudig & lauthals mit einstimmen...
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Why do "normal" people care about Facebook ?

A few weeks ago Shel Israel asked corporate communications at Facebook for some numbers on how they are doing and it turned out they are doing pretty darn good:
  • Over 150,000 Facebook registrants daily. That's 1 million a week since January.
  • 35 million users today on Aug 14th 2007!).
  • Half user are outside college. That number was zero in Sept. 2006.
  • Over 40 billion page views in May 2007
  • Average visitor stays 20 minutes
  • Most growth is among people over age 25.
  • 47,000 Facebook groups.
  • #1 photo sharing app on the web. 2.7 billion photos on site.
  • More than 2000 applications. The Top 10 are: Top Friends, Video, Graffiti, MyQuestions, iLike, FreeGifts, X Me, Superpoke!, Fortune Cookie & Horoscopes. The smallest of these has over 4.5 million users.
Wow...! The German Facebook network apparently grows by up to 1000 new members each day (right now it already has 77,954 members). Not bad, too. I have the feeling that Facebook, although there is no localized version yet, is picking up steam even here in "ever-skeptical" Germany. Of course, it's just empirical evidence, but I keep getting more and more Facebook confirmation requests from German friends and contacts - even from people, who ignore business networking sites like XING or LinkedIn. At the same time German Facebook copycat StudiVZ (which is stuck in the students niche for now) quickly became the site with the most traffic in Germany - despite the fact that most German students only have at best a very "casual" interest in Web 2.0. So why do these people now join communities like Facebook and not XING & Co.? Well, being the hardcore networker that I am, it's hard for me to grok, but maybe it's because the majority of people with "normal" 9-5 jobs (aka the mainstream) just don't care about business networking. But they do care a lot about private networking with friends & family - and that's clearly Facebook territory... Related: f8club - a German blog about Facebook (via Nico)
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Nabaztag - Say Hi to Rabbit 2.0

I just stumbled across a funny little gagdet/pet-hybrid that had escaped me until now: it's something called Nabaztag - an ambient, wifi-enabled - thereby fully internet ready - artificial rabbit. It comes with his own build-in social network and is already all over Youtube, Flickr et al.... rabbit20.gif What does he(?) do? Well, turns out, the little rabbit is a real digerati: he reads your emails or rss-feeds, notifies you when friends come online, downloads stock quotes and weather forecasts and plays music. He also sings and dances messages, which your friends can send directly to him. You can even marry him to another rabbit! Violet, the company behind the Nabaztag, has just launched a new edition, which has learned quite a few additional tricks like "Limitless Talk Capabilities" and "Scent Recognition"! WOW !! Despite some technical glitches, I think, I am sold... ;-) via Henriette, who btw has some comments on an observation from the Lift07 conference last week, which put this little gadget into an interesting context:
So at Lift07 there was nobody who said the word “blog” or “web 2.0″ which to me is a very visible sign that “blog” and “web 2.0″ is getting passé… slowly but firmly. It is not where the geeks are anymore. Does this mean that Web 2.0 is dead ? read on...
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openBC becomes XING

A lot of bloggers already have reported the big news over the weekend: in a few weeks (not this week!), openBC will change its name to XING !! Originally openBC (Disclaimer: openBC is one of my clients) wanted to announce the new name on a special event next Thursday. But on Friday a Swiss blogger discovered the name by himself through some detective 2.0 work and with a little help from Google. He broke the story first, others followed and on Saturday Daniela made it official on the openBLOG. So, it didn't work out the way anybody wanted it to work out. But that's not necessarily a bad thing: the blogosphere is suddenly buzzing about openBC/XING as it never has before. Of course, the new name is an interesting subject all by itself. But maybe the story, how the name came out, added that little magic which turns a company announcement into a subject for global debate. Btw: some have noted that it was naive to think the new name could have been kept under wraps. Well, if you think so, too, you might want to check out the Markenregister (the German registry for trademarks). openBC registered XING nearly a year ago. As required by law, it was officially published back then. But the secret was safe just until a few days before the official announcement !! Keeping secrets in the age of blogs sometimes works better than one might think... Technorati Tags: ,
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openBC's openDESIGN Challenge goes into 5th Week

openBC, the online networking service with over 1.5 million members world wide, is currently preparing a major relaunch of their site later this year. As part of the process leading up to this relaunch, we (openBC is one of my clients) started the openDESIGN Challenge, where designers from all over the world are challenged to come up with a better design for openBC's most important page: the personal profile page - the business card 2.0, if you will. Public voting together with a prominent jury will decide on who will get the 10.000 Euro prize money!

The project is already running for 4 weeks now and we are getting a steady stream of great entries every week. But we always need more. So, if you are a talented web designer and have a vision of how the business card 2.0 should look like, share it with us!!
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DMMK: The Internet is not about Technology

I am in Berlin today for this year's DMMK (= German multimedia congress). On the stage right now is Nikesh Arora, Vice President, European Operations with Google, who's giving the audience a little pep talk on what the Internet is really about:
Don't say its the "Internet". That's too technically. Say it's one billion connected people, you can interact with. That's what it is...
Couldn't agree more ! Technorati Tags: ,
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Make Love not Spam - Viral Marketing from Lycos Europe

Small applications can make nice viral agents. Deloitte Consulting proved that last year with their Bullfighter campaign. Now Lycos Europe is trying a similar approach. lycos-mlns.gifSince last week, people can download a special screen saver from the Make Love not Spam website. The whole thing looks a little bit like the SETI screen saver. But instead of searching for intelligent life outside our solar system, the Lycos program was created to eradicate the dumbest life form here on Earth: spammers ! Once it is installed, the screen saver starts to bombard webservers from spammers with tons of traffic (from The Register):
Lycos believes the program will eventually hurt spammers. 'Spamvirtised' sites typically don't sell advertising, so they have to pay for bandwidth. Therefore more requests means higher bills, Lycos argues. A spokesman for Lycos in Germany told The Register he believed that the tool could generate 3.4MB in traffic on a daily basis. When 10m screensavers are downloaded and used, the numbers quickly add up, to 33TB of 'useless' IP traffic.
Interesting idea. But let's hope it doesn't backfire, when all the useless traffic starts clogging up the internet... (via adland) Update (03.12.2004)- Well, it did backfire: Freeze on anti-spam campaign
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myfriends.de - German Version of Friendster online

After the launch of the Open Business Club last week, another P2P-networking service is now available in Germany - myfriends.de (via Heiko Hebig & Klaus Eck). This one looks and feels like a perfect copy of friendster. The company behind it - Jamba - already announced a new micro payment service a couple of weeks ago. It will be interesting to see, how these pieces fit together...
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