Perhaps the most striking feature of this research is the number of social networking sites that have made it into the list compared to 12 months ago - with the highest entry at number two coming from Bebo.
Boing Boing sez: A "griefer" -- person who disrupts video-games -- is attacking the
online world Second Life with self-replicating "grey goo" that is
melting down the Second Life servers. "Grey goo" is shorthand for an apocalyptic nano-gone-wrong scenario wherein nanoassemblers replicate so profligately that they reduce the world to slurry.
The Guardian says today, "after the success of MySpace, Bebo and Youtube, Second Life is fast becoming the hottest thing on the Web." This two-page feature on Second Life sees veteran editor Vic Keegan take on the persona of Victor Vezina (and he looks pretty much like the real thing). This week we also see a six-page feature in Wired on Second Life (you'll have to wait a while for the online version. And Sun Microsystems has just announced it's going to be holding press conferences in Second Life. Two weeks back BBC Breakfast did a special feature on Second Life. It certainly has the media's attention.
I'm looking forward to seeing what will happen when it really takes off and more communities, businesses and, well, people I know, basically, get on there, and we can see what happens when a critical mass hits a new kind of online platform like this.
Reading today's Times, I tore out and kept an article on the new PR emperor, Steve Hilton. Steve is the "secretive guru behind the new Dave project". He is David Cameron the probable future Prime Minister's top PR advisor. He's the "mastermind behind the party's strategy for changing its image" and "his influence can be seen in [strategies such as] Cameron's webcasting" amongst other moves to make the party more appealing. His annual salary is £276,000 according to the Sunday Times. He keeps a very, very low profile. And here's the interesting bit that The Times missed. Steve's girlfriend Rachel Whetstone is head of Google's European PR. Here's what PR Week says about Rachel.
[update: I had dinner with Rachel Whetstone recently and she's razor-sharp and thoroughly nice company]
So if you, like a few people I spoke to, wondered how and why the CEO of Google was at the Conservative party conference this week, now you know.
Watch Google, Steve and Rachel closely. I think we will see a shift in how the web influences politics in a big way in the next year.
Dan Farber at ZDNet has written an article here about the creation of a blogging ROI framework by Forrester analyst Charlene Li, whose new piece of work is on this topic. It's all good, common sense stuff, but will, I'm sure, educate more firms as to the benefits and drawbacks of a prospective social media campaign.