Social media moves so fast, it's hard to keep up. Here are the week's top stories in scan-friendly format:
- Surprise! Twitter Has a High Churn Rate
- W3C Releases Standardized Widgets 1.0 APIs and Events
- Do You Twitter At Work? Hide It!
- Your Company May Need A Social Networking Policy
Surprise! Twitter Has a High Churn Rate
A recent report from PCWorld highlights a Nielsen study that some 60 percent of people who start using the online service Twitter fail to use the service just one month after signing up.
That's right, the micro-blogging service that has attracted news and views from household names such as Oprah, Ashton Kutcher and Martha Stewart isn't that sticky after all.
Other social networking services such as MySpace and Facebook have high churn rates also, but these rates come in at about half of Twitter's churn rate.
Our question: why is this a surprise to anyone? Online services are so numerous and plentiful that we all have websites that we sign up for, use for a while, then give up on after a few days/weeks.
However, Twitter should be alarmed about this very high churn rate and should address it immediately. Considering Twitter requires you to add your friends to be of any value to you -- personalized friend recommendations is one way to immediately start building loyalty into your member base.
Do you have any ideas of how Twitter can make their service more 'sticky'? If so, leave a comment below.
W3C Releases Standardized Widgets 1.0 APIs and Events
There are many different frameworks for building what are called "widgets". These lightweight little applications sit on our desktops or on web portals and allow us to track stock prices, weather forecasts or keep an eye on our calendars.
There a few widget engines including Yahoo! Widgets, Google Widgets, Apple Dashboard widgets and so on. A problem that develops is that widgets made for one platform cannot be used on another.
To address this silo effect of widget creation, the World Wide Web consortium (W3C) is creating a specification for a standardized widget framework. Presumably, all widgets designed under the specification should be cross-platform and portable for added ease-of-use.
We'll keep an eye on the development of this widget framework and will report back any interesting developments.
Do You Twitter At Work? Hide It!
If you are addicted to Twitter, you probably log on to the micro-blogging site from work in addition to your home-based activity. However, are you afraid of getting caught messaging your friends while you're "on the clock"? If you are in such a situation you may love this pointer.
A new application called Spreadtweet masks your Twitter activity to the appearance of a spreadsheet. Upon launching the application, you specify whether the layout will appear as Office Excel 2007, 2003 or the OS X version. That way, when your boss walks by your desk, he or she will assume you're doing "real" work when instead you're in Twitter.
Have a look at the application and give it a trial run -- it may just enable you to get away with your guilty little Twitter habit while at work!
Your Company May Need A Social Networking Policy
Your company likely has personnel who regularly update social networking sites. With 200+ million people on Facebook, the odds are one of your co-workers is making posts, uploading pictures, or otherwise interacting with social sites on the Internet. What happens when an employee makes a remark that is personal or perhaps even leaks a company secret of some sort?
Today's businesses most likely need to address such a situation in a social media policy, as suggested by Sharlyn Lauby in a recent Mashable post. Such a policy will outline policy guidelines and procedures for employees who interactively communicate in an online world.
It might be that existing policies address employee online communication, but Lauby stresses that companies should re-visit their policies to make sure employees are informed about appropriate behavior when creating content online.