Here is a roundup of news from around the social networking world this week:
— The San Jose Mercury News reports on the various services that surround MySpace and have ridden its coattails to success. As we recently analyzed in this report, there are many directions in which MySpace could go to monetize its traffic (in addition to the partnership announced last week with Google). Some of these start-ups are beginning to uncover such monetization possibilities.
— Following the user-generated content trend seen throughout social search (a close cousin of social networking) and popular video sites such as YouTube, Microsoft hopes to tap users and independent game developers to design new games for the Xbox 360.
— Paid Content reports that AOL has purchased IM and chat platform developer Userplane to enhance its own IM platform and to grow the social networking capabilities across its properties. The development of more social media at AOL has also been seen recently through the recent relaunch of Netscape.
— Elsewhere in AOL’s social media efforts, the company this week announced the beta launch of its new photo site that will let users tag and share photos a la Flickr.
— Terry Heaton has an interesting post on the cognitive dissonance of traditional media proponents in "getting" the appeal of social networking (this obviously isn’t the case for Fox, however).
— MySpace parent News Corp. announced that it will begin selling downloadable movies through its Web properties, including Twentieth Century Fox and Fox television content such as "24," "Prison Break" and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia." MySpace will be among the sites to carry this content; however, a start date hasn’t been revealed.
— A site built on YouTube’s model launched this week, according to CNET. VideoJug will focus on user-generated video that instead of involving teenagers running into walls, will be primarily instructional (i.e., how to tile your bathroom). This type of model could have some interesting local ad possibilities eventually (i.e., where to buy tiling supplies). It is also easier to vertically segment this type of content than it is YouTube content: putting contextually relevant ad models closer within reach. Keep an eye on this company or others that try to form similar models.
— Speaking of the all-important ad model for user-generated content and social media, this New York Times piece examines the ads that have proliferated as entertainment on video-sharing sites such as YouTube. The viral distribution is a double-edged sword, according to the article. There can be lots of impressions among an attractive demographic; however, there is little control over the message and its distribution. An interesting read.
— Lastly, for aspiring user-generated video stars, here’s a comical list of the top 10 ways to make it big on YouTube. Good for a quick midweek chuckle if you’re familiar with YouTube or user-generated video sites.