How the Fashion Industry is Embracing Social Media

18 02 2010

Hitha Prabhakar is a retail industry expert and principal of The Style File Group, a retail consulting firm based in New York City. She has also written about fashion for, Time magazine, People magazine,, ELLE India, Metro Newspapers, and is a contributor on CNBC. Follow her on Twitter at @hithaprabhakar or @stylefilemedia.

What’s the hottest trend in fashion right now? Social media of course.

As part of fashion week prep on Wednesday, I decided to do a quick search for #nyfw (New York Fashion Week, going on right now in New York) on Twitter (Twitter). To my surprise, conversations ran the gamut — some Tweeters chimed in about the pending snow storm waiting to blanket the city, and others were buzzing about the Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs and Rodarte shows being streamed online. When I turned away for half a second (literally) to grab my coffee, I was met with the words “43 more tweets since you started searching.” 43 more tweets? Really?

What was most shocking wasn’t the sheer volume of people talking about the week-long event, but the actual people who were participating in the conversation. Journalists, fashion incubators, retail gurus and people who were just plain interested in the industry were weighing in on a topic that has notoriously shut its doors to anyone deemed an outsider. Why the transparency now?

Social Success

“People want to feel connected,” says Kelly Cutrone, owner of People’s Revolution and executive producer of reality TV series on Bravo Kell on Earth. Cutrone has orchestrated the campaigns of hundreds of clients, including Donna Karan and Lisa Marie, and has always incorporated a digital strategy when working with them. “It’s one thing if you are a luxury brand and have been around for 60 years and can weather the retail storm we’ve had, but if you are a new brand that’s just starting out — whether you are a writer or a retailer — innovating through social media is crucial. Those that are hidden and guarded will not progress.”

In the past six months, the amount of fashion insiders embracing social media has skyrocketed. On any given day (depending on who you are following) you can learn that Marc Jacobs president Robert Duffy is still pondering locations for their rapidly approaching fashion show. You might know that designer Rachel Roy had an interview with a media outlet, or that designer Tory Burch is hoping to see models with “some meat on their bones” in her show. By letting the public behind the fashion influencer curtain, stalwarts and luminaries have created and connected to an entirely new audience, and capitalized on the 400 million Facebook users and more than 22 million Twitter users. Social media, it seems, has become the hottest trend since skinny jeans and stiletto heels.

“Ignoring the Internet [and social media] is madness,” says designer Diane von Furstenberg who has been advocating for transparency in the fashion industry for years. “We decided to have a presence because it was a very organic way for us to communicate online. And yes, we think about [transparency] but don’t worry too much. We try to keep the focus on the clothes that are in the store, or buy now and wear now, not what is on the runway. But people will always get access to that as well.”

With her following at over 22,000, von Furstenberg is one of the most beloved and popular designers on Twitter. And while that number doesn’t seem high compared to the 4.5 million followers Ashton Kutcher has, von Furstenberg’s followers are loyal key influencers whose voices hold a certain amount of authority not only in the fashion industry but also in high-tech social circles.

The viral marketing capabilities of re-tweeting by this targeted group is something an advertising budget cannot buy. Within the last year of having a major online and social media presence, von Furstenberg’s online traffic has increased by 13% and sales “have been great” according to a source in the corporate offices of DvF.

“Brands are learning how to humanize without killing their mystique,” says Shiv Singh, VP and global social media lead at Razorfish and author of Social Media Marketing for Dummies. “You look at brands like Chanel, who have pushed designer Karl Largerfeld into the social media sphere to further connect with their customers, or Victoria’s Secret, who has 2.63 million fans on Facebook and 1.7 million for Pink — you are able to see how these brands are able to connect with their customers and monetize on it through awareness, loyalty and engagement.”

Likewise, Burberry who launched the “Art of the Trench” campaign last summer shot by photographer Scott Schuman saw incredible success by having fans comment on the pictures. Schuman, who has launched himself into the fashion stratosphere with his photography blog “The Sartorialist” says he has never updated his Twitter account (he claims it is someone he doesn’t know who is posting) but has upwards of 34,000 followers. “The Burberry campaign was the first of its kind to not use a large budget for hair, makeup and models. They got me, and my style of taking photos, and it allowed us to communicate with the customer on a whole new and very real level.”

Not Everyone is Ready to Take the Plunge

Wesley R. Card, CEO of Jones Apparel Group explained at the WWD CEO Summit last November that transparency and lack of control over what is being said online is a worrisome issue. “As a chief executive, you want to think that you have complete control over what is being said about you or your company, and you want to make sure what you are saying isn’t getting misconstrued. Even though I know we need to embrace it as a corporation, I am a little apprehensive.”

Even with those who are tentative or might not understand social media completely, the Fashion Week gods, i.e. the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and IMG (who produce the shows at the tents in Bryant Park), have also decided to let bloggers populate the front rows, and have established WiFi areas instead of putting the kibosh on their coverage.

The Blogosphere is Getting Access

Nichelle Pace, blogger and owner of the site STYLEMOM, who has been covering the runway shows for three seasons, noticed a significant change in tone of responses when requesting coverage of the shows this season. “The ice has definitely thawed,” she notes. “I have a lot more [invites] to shows this year and publicists are more willing to float me images post-show if by chance they are over capacity and I can’t cover it.”

Another major change is that the dialog between designers, bloggers and social media gurus has opened up. Designers understand their customers are consuming media at mach-5 speeds. Likewise, magazines realize it’s not about printing information three months after fashion weekends. “I think it’s going to be more and more important to get stuff up on the web — images, reviews, interviews, etc. — as quickly as humanly possible,” says Lauren Sherman co-editor of “People read what they see first. I think magazines in particular need to figure out a way to cover the shows more uniquely in print because by the time the September issue comes out, no one cares anymore.”

Joe Zee, creative director at ELLE Magazine says that just like in most give-and-take relationships, it’s a compromise. “I’ve always been about what the ‘next big thing’ is. Please, I was the one that would help my grandmother put the VCR together when I was little and got a Tivo 15 years ago. People fear what they don’t understand, but trust me, magazines, designers and retailers are getting to understand what social media is faster than they can say ‘that’s fabulous.’”

Inside Facebook Pages

15 02 2010

By Sysomos Inc.

In 2007, Facebook introduced a new feature called “Facebook Pages”, which are user profiles for brands (companies, organizations, and celebrities). Facebook Pages have the look and feel of personal pages but offer additional features such as the ability to quickly send messages to thousands of fans.

Sysomos analyzed nearly 600,000 Facebook Pages to investigate usage patterns. This is the first large-scale study of Facebook Pages, reporting on different aspects of pages including popularity, amount of content posted, number of fans, and categories.

The highlights include:

  • Michael Jackson is the most popular page on Facebook, with 10 million fans; he is followed by actor Vin Diesel (7 million) and U.S. president Barack Obama (6.9 million).
  • On average, a Facebook Page has 4,596 fans.
  • Four percent of pages have more than 10,000 fans, 0.76% of pages have more than 100,000 fans, and 0.05% of pages (or 297 in total) have more than a million fans.
  • Pages with more than one million fans have nearly three times as much owner-generated content as the average Facebook page. (Where “owner-generated content” means things like photos, videos, and links posted by the page’s administrators.)
  • Pages with more than one million fans have nearly 60 times as much fan-generated content (photos, videos) as the average Facebook page.
  • On an average Facebook Page, the administrators create one wall post every 15.7 days. Among pages with more than one million fans, one wall post is created for every 16.1 days. This suggests that wall post frequency does not correlate with a page’s popularity.
  • Overall, the most popular “category” for Facebook pages is “non-profits”, while “celebrities”, “music”, and “products” are the most popular categories among pages with more than one million fans.

Page Popularity

The Top 5 Most Popular Facebook Pages


  • Michael Jackson is the most popular entity on Facebook, with two pages in the top 10, totalling more than fourteen million fans.
  • Barack Obama is by far the most popular politician on Facebook, with nearly ten times as many fans as his nearest peer, Sarah Palin.
  • The average Facebook page that Sysomos analyzed has 4,596 fans. The median page has 218 fans (i.e. 50% of the pages have fewer than 218 fans).
Page # fans
Michael Jackson 10,404,798
Vin Diesel 7,042,550
Barack Obama 6,940,236
Facebook 5,802,170
Megan Fox 5,115,909

Page Popularity Distribution

The following graphs show the cumulative popularity distribution for the nearly 600,000 Facebook Pages we analyzed. The facts:

  • 95% of pages have more than 10 fans
  • 65% of pages have more than 100 fans
  • 23% of pages have more than 1,000 fans
  • 4% of pages have more than 10,000 fans
  • 0.76% of pages have more than 100,000 fans
  • 0.047% of pages have more than one million fans (297 in total).

Page Popularity Distribution graph

Popularity graph (top pages)

Facebook Page Categories

About Facebook’s Categorization System

When creating a Facebook Page, there are a variety of categories that can be selected. These include broad categories such as “local”, “brand”, “product”, “organization”, “artist”, “band”, or “public figure”. All of the available categories can be classified as “proper nouns” such as businesses, organizations, entities, and persons.

However, many of the most popular Facebook pages are dedicated to abstract nouns like “The Beach” and “Pizza”, and at least nine of the 297 most popular pages (those having at least one million fans) are dedicated to sleeping. It seems that users do not become fans of these pages to network with other sleep enthusiasts. Instead, they are used to publicly “tag” interests and preferences. It appears that Facebook did not design their category system with this in mind, and as a consequence many pages are mis-categorized.

Category Distribution

Facebook pages are evenly distributed amongst the categories. A notable exception is “government officials”, which has only 2,000 pages. Since so many Facebook pages are mis-categorized, these numbers do not necessarily reflect an accurate picture of category distribution.

Category distribution chart

Category Distribution Among Top Pages (over one million fans)

Given the high number of mis-categorized pages, we wanted to get a better idea of how the most popular pages break down by category. We examined the 297 most popular Facebook pages (those having at least one million fans) and then manually re-categorized them. The pages that did not reflect proper nouns (e.g. “Nights Out With Friends”) were moved into the “OTHER” category.

As you can see, a large swath of the most popular pages (39%) fall into the “Other” classification. Once this noise is removed, it becomes easier to see that most of the popular pages are for musicians/bands, celebrities, products, television shows, and films.
Category distribution chart for top pages, sanitized

Top Pages per Category

Category “Websites”

Page # fans
Big Prize Giveways 2,093,425
CHOCOLATE! 1,808,643
I Use My Cell Phone To See In The Dark 1,375,290
FML 1,220,382
Prayer 1,219,062

Category “Stores”

Page # fans
I ♥ SLEEP 4,598,779
Will Smith 4,556,348
I don’t sleep enough because I stay up late for no reason 3,556,464
The Beach 3,283,539
Finding Money In Your Pocket 3,200,136

Category “Music”

Page # fans
Michael Jackson 10,404,793
R.I.P Michael Jackson (We Miss You) 4,681,105
Lady Gaga 4,389,307
Linkin Park 3,439,751
Rihanna 2,970,938

Category “Organizations”

Page # fans
Yelling at inanimate objects 2,051,417
I Love Jesus 1,483,408
No Homework 1,410,441
“No profe usted dijo que eso no era para hoy” 1,389,931
dormir con el sonido de la lluvia!!! 1,288,698

Category “Films”

Page # fans
Disney 2,376,973
The Hangover 1,887,573
Titanic 1,797,794
American Pie 1,656,012
Batman: The Dark Knight 1,609,185

Category “Services”

Page # fans
Massages 3,135,810
Flipping the Pillow Over to Get to the Cold Side 2,925,575
Summer! 2,607,095
Tattoo & Piercing 2,589,807
dormir 2,074,708

Category “Celebrities”

Page # fans
Vin Diesel 7,044,721
Megan Fox 5,115,936
Dr. House 4,467,909
Adam Sandler 3,707,586
Selena Gomez 3,243,961

Category “TV Shows”

Page # fans
South Park 3,087,309
House 2,518,556
Family Guy 2,254,705
Grey’s Anatomy 2,127,630
FRIENDS (TV Show) 2,093,845

Category “Products”

Page # fans
Facebook 5,802,259
Starbucks 5,113,068
Pizza 4,593,121
I need a vacation!!! 4,354,306
Twilight 4,321,632

Category “Non-Profits”

Page # fans
Music 1,975,352
I Love my Family 1,721,015
I’ll do it in a minute 1,457,287
I Love My Friends 1,230,638

Category “Government Officials”

Page # fans
Jeremy Clarkson for Prime Minister 388,029
Montreal 33,378
General Sarath Fonseka 14,537
alica, alicate ; mertio, mertiolate ! 13,904

Category “Sports Teams”

Page # fans
Galatasaray 2,229,605
Fenerbahçe 1,765,546
New York Yankees 1,104,329
Manchester United 980,315
Beşiktaş 762,754

Category “Bars and Clubs”

Page # fans
Summer Break! 1,167,984
Nights Out With Friends 1,130,058
Odio cuando estoy durmiendo, suena el telefono y me dicen “TE DESPERTE?” 852,609
Recien es lunes y ya quiero que sea viernes 833,994

Category “Games”

Page # fans
Texas Hold’em Poker 4,669,830
Pet Society 1,291,315
Uno 1,259,393
Guitar Hero 1,094,337
Los besos no se piden, se dan… 926,195

Category “Restaurants”

Page # fans
Dippin’ Dots 898,722
Etre seul avec son/sa chéri(e) 440,793
In-N-Out 417,190
Domino’s Pizza 323,856
Subway 321,396

Category “Places”

Page # fans
I hate stupid people 2,668,664
Roller Coasters 1,445,237
la playa de noche 1,294,010
Roller Coasters 1,150,238
Disneyland 978,201

Category “Politicians”

Page # fans
Barack Obama 6,940,287
Sarah Palin 1,071,214
Michelle Obama 597,111
M.K. ATATÜRK 555,449
John McCain 513,839

Content on Pages

Content on Facebook Pages falls into two broad categories: creator-generated (written by the page owner or administrator, includes “wall posts”, “videos”, “links”, etc.), and fan-generated (wall posts, fan photos, and fan videos).


  • For the average Facebook Page, one wall post is created (by the page’s administrators) every 15.7 days. Among pages with more than one million fans, one wall post is created for every 16.1 days. This suggests that wall post frequency does not relate to a page’s popularity.
  • The average page has 26.8 pieces of non-stream owner-generated content (photo albums, videos, links, notes, and favourite pages). Among pages with more than one million fans, the average page had 70.4 pieces of owner-generated content.
  • A page has 9.5 pieces of fan-generated content (photos and videos) on average. Among pages with more than one million fans, the average page has 586.9 pieces of fan-generated content.

Creator content by popularity

Creator content by popularity

# fans avg. # of creator content items
1–5 1.9
5–10 1.9
10–20 5.2
20–40 11.2
40–80 12.5
80–160 13.1
160–320 15.7
320–640 14.8
640–1200 16.1
1200–2400 20.5
2400–4800 18.6
4800–9600 17.4
9600–19000 28.0
19000–38000 25.3
38000–76000 29.6
76000–150000 75.0
150000–300000 41.5
300000–600000 43.1
600000–1200000 43.6
1200000–2400000 75.7
2400000–4800000 26.3
4800000–9600000 51.0

Fan content by popularity

Fan content by popularity

# fans avg. # of fan content items
1–5 0.1
5–10 0.2
10–20 0.4
20–40 1.0
40–80 1.6
80–160 2.1
160–320 3.0
320–640 4.8
640–1200 7.7
1200–2400 12.8
2400–4800 22.8
4800–9600 39.9
9600–19000 55.2
19000–38000 78.5
38000–76000 99.1
76000–150000 139.0
150000–300000 164.8
300000–600000 209.1
600000–1200000 277.9
1200000–2400000 505.0
2400000–4800000 699.6
4800000–9600000 1434.5

Wall post frequency by popularity

Wall post frequency by popularity

# fans avg. days between posts
1–5 12.4
5–10 15.6
10–20 17.0
20–40 16.8
40–80 16.3
80–160 15.1
160–320 14.0
320–640 14.8
640–1200 15.8
1200–2400 15.6
2400–4800 16.4
4800–9600 18.1
9600–19000 19.7
19000–38000 19.9
38000–76000 19.8
76000–150000 19.1
150000–300000 20.0
300000–600000 18.7
600000–1200000 24.1
1200000–2400000 15.8
2400000–4800000 13.0
4800000–9600000 3.5

Friended pages by popularity

Links by popularity

Notes by popularity

Videos posted by popularity


While Facebook Pages have emerged as a popular marketing vehicle for many companies, the landscape appears to be dominated by those focused on pop culture — music, celebrities, television shows, and films. Of the nearly 600,000 Facebook Pages examined by Sysomos, only 297 (or 0.05%) have more than one million fans. Facebook Pages with more than one million fans generate significantly more content than the average Facebook page: three times more content created by owners/administrators, and 70 times more content created by fans themselves. While “Wall posts” can attract a lot of attention, there does not appear to be a significant correlation between the number of Wall posts and the popularity of a page — an active wall doesn’t necessarily imply a popular page.

11 Mind-Blowing Reasons Your Company Needs Facebook

13 02 2010

Written By: Jay Baer

Wow. Remember when MySpace was the dominant social network? Seems like a long time ago, as the past three years have seen Facebook approach, catch, and blow past MySpace to become our preferred online hangout spot.

Now, new data released by Facebook and third party researchers show just how influential Facebook has become in our daily lives. Combined with several critical adjustments to how Facebook publishes “news” and intersects with other sites, the state of Facebook is mind-blowing. And important for business.

Here’s 11 things about Facebook that you need to know:

1. 350 Million Global Users, and Counting
Facebook announced recently that they had passed 350 million members, making Facebook the third-largest country in the world, if it was a country. (perhaps that’s their end-game, joining the UN and raising an army?)

2. 100 Million U.S. Users
Sure, Facebook is strong around-the-world (Canada has the highest penetration rate), but nearly 1/3 of all Facebookers are here in the U.S. You may have heard of a TV show called American Idol. On a good night, it averages 20 million viewers. Facebook has 100 million American members. Hmmm.

3. Average Facebook User Spends 55 Minutes Per Day
Nearly one hour per day, per user. That’s a lot of Facebook time. How can your company grab a bit of consumer attention? This data is based on Facebook’s own published stats, covered by Inside Facebook.

4. Nearly 80,000 sites using Facebook Connect
Connect is the Facebook initiative that has the greatest long-range impact. By integrating Facebook closely, sites are making our personal social graphs truly portable. Instead of having to go to Facebook and other sites to visit our friends, they travel with us online (and in our pockets via mobile devices), always there to provide advice or commentary. Even Yahoo! and MySpace are rolling out deep Facebook integrations.

This of course makes Facebook the central hub of not just social media, but the Web (which is why Google is scrambling to catch up after their competing Google Connect fell flat).

5. Facebook Fan Box Becoming Pervasive
Perhaps the least powerful, but most prevalent flavor of Facebook Connect is Facebook Fan Box, a simple tool for enabling your Web site visitors, YouTube video watchers, or email newsletter recipients to become a fan of your brand – without even having to go to Facebook.

6. Average Facebook User Has 130 Friends
Will Facebook users continue to add more friends at a rapid pace? It depends upon how they view their Facebook connections. 130 friends almost bumps up against Dunbar’s Number of 150 – the theoretical maximum number of actual friend relationships you can sustain, according to British scientist Robin Dunbar.

If Facebook continues to revolve around relationships that you actually possess in three-dimensions – people you “actually” know, then the addition of bunches of new friends may slow considerably. But, if Facebook makes the leap to tie people together more casually (like Twitter), average friend counts could rise dramatically.

7. Average Facebook User Fans 2 Pages per Month
If you think tons of your customers should become fans of your company’s Facebook page, you might want to recalibrate your expectations. The average Facebook user “fans” only 2 new pages per month. That’s not a lot , considering how many brands, causes, and organizations we come into contact with on a regular basis.

If you’re going to make growth of your Facebook fan base a key part of your social media strategy, you must create a clear rationale for why consumers should participate with you.

You also might consider a robust, organized approach for promoting your Facebook fan page.

8. Only 4% of Pages Have 10,000 or More Fans

If your Facebook fan page is a bit of a ghost town, you’re not alone. A fantastic study by Sysomos of 600,000 Facebook fan pages shows that only 4% of pages have 10,000 or more fans – and only .76% have 100,000 or more.

That’s why it is so critical to focus your Facebook strategy on activating the fans you have, not just collecting fans like baseball cards.

9. Wall Posts Don’t Impact Popularity
The Sysomos study also found very little correlation between how frequently the Facebook page admin posted to the wall, and total number of fans. However – and this is important – there is a strong correlation between amount of other content (notes, links, photos, videos) and number of fans.

Thus, if you want to grow your Facebook fan base, it is imperative that you move beyond simple Wall posts and add photos, videos, links and other content.

10. Customized News Feed
Facebook’s recent move to an algorithm-driven news feed means that just because someone is your fan, does not mean they will see your wall posts or status updates (true for both individuals, and brands). Instead, the default news feed is now comprised of content that Facebook thinks you’ll like, based on your interactions with content from that author in the past, and interactions by your friends with that content.

This puts a tremendous premium on posting engaging content that will get comments and likes and shares. If you’re not paying attention to your content engagement scores within your Facebook analytics, start doing so now, and testing content types to see what works best for your brand.

11. Real-time Search Changes the Game
Facebook is now making most content available publicly, unless you tell them not to via your privacy settings. Twitter opened their data stream to anyone (not just big developers). Google and Bing are incorporating this data into search results, in real-time.

This has tremendous implications for search engine optimization and reputation management, since a negative status update about your brand might now show up on the first page of Google search results for your company name (at least temporarily). The shakeout is still happening, but someone in your company needs to be on top of real-time search. Today.

Facebook may not be the ideal environment for every social media initiative, but its huge size forces you to at least consider participating – regardless of what type of business you run. Conversely, some brands are putting an awful lot of eggs in the Facebook basket, which is perhaps justifiable based on the facts above. However, I’m not keen on building the centerpiece of my social media strategy on what amounts to rented land.

Is your business taking advantage of Facebook? How important is it to your social media efforts? What advice do you have for creating content and managing Facebook fan pages?

(This post originally appeared on

Sempre più sfilate sul web: ha ancora senso andarci?

12 02 2010

di Chiara Beghelli

Burberry ed Emporio Armani hanno lanciato online una nuova pagina dove seguire in streaming le sfilate della moda uomo, con tanto di countdown per far salire l’adrenalina degli spettatori. Le sfilate delle nuove collezioni di D&G e Z Zegna si possono seguire sui siti e stesso vale per Prada. Trussardi inaugura il nuovo sito dedicato al centenario del marchio ( e mette online l’Interactive Show, una sorta di tv interattiva che conduce dietro le quinte del mondo Trussardi. Altre sfilate si possono seguire in streaming su portali dedicati alla moda, come qui in Italia abbiamo fatto noi di
Queste rapide evoluzioni digitali suscitano una domanda: fra qualche tempo sarà ancora necessario andare di persona alle sfilate? La possibilità di seguirle online non significherà anche un risparmio di tempo, soldi e anche inquinamento, visto che ogni fashion week sposta aerei carichi di giornalisti e buyers da tutto il mondo? Per non parlare del risparmio per le case di moda, in termini di affitto della location, buffet, security. Costi che in tempi di crisi non sarebbe così antipatico tagliare dai budget. E poi, diciamo la verità: chi di noi giornalisti si ferma a esaminare i tessuti nel backstage, a controllare l’esattezza delle cuciture, a toccare e fare confronti fra materiali e tagli? Pochissimi. Insomma, credete che sia ancora improponibile, per stilisti e pubblico, l’idea di presentare e scoprire le tendenze dello stile dallo schermo e non dal front row? E’ chiaro, si tratta di provocazioni. Ma questa moda 2.0 è più complessa di quanto la facilità di seguirla su internet possa far credere.

Facebook batte Google news nell’informazione web

11 02 2010
di  Alessandra Pugliese

Facebook deve la sua forza non solo a se stesso.

Sembra che il sito leader del networking utilizzi – secondo quanto riportato dal Guardian – siti esterni al suo per deviare una mole notevole di traffico web. Addirittura più di Google News. La speciale classifica di dati inviati in downstreaming è comandata da Google (17.32 %) seguito da Yahoo (7.89%) e Msn ( 4.43%).

Subito dopo il podio si piazza proprio la società di Zuckerberg con il 3.52 % totale, che batte il gigante Google news nell’informazione web. Alcuni siti tra cui Techdirt esprimono un dubbio, una domanda lecita: a breve Facebook dovrà iniziare a pagare i new sites?  Se questo succedesse gli scenari della rete cambierebbero notevolmente.

Qualcuno ha suggerito a Google e Facebook di unire le proprie forze anche sul web search.  L’aggiornamento delle news non è certo la feature principale di Facebook eppure la sua presenza nei risultati delle news è divenuta ossessiva negli ultimi mesi.

L’informazione oggi- che piaccia o no- corre soprattutto in rete e le reti sociali hanno il delicato compito di gestirla. Twitter per esempio è una delle fonti di informazioni inserite nei risultati delle ricerche di Google news.

Per Heather Hopkins “Facebook potrebbe essere un diversivo, creare compiglio tra news e media. Il Wall Street Journal già pubblica contenuti su Facebook e forse il social network potrebbe evitare i problemi che la società di Mountain View ha dovuto fronteggiare con Murdoch. Continueremo a tener d’occhio questo spazio”.

WordPress non significa necessariamente blog

10 02 2010
di Andreas Voigt

Sicuramente, gli addetti ai lavori, se così possiamo chiamarli, si faranno due risate, nel leggere questo post. Però mi sono reso conto, anche dopo il piacevolissimo incontro avuto con un cliente, che il tema è piuttosto sentito ed è necessario fare chiarezza.

Sappiamo tutti, chi più e chi meno, e chi non lo sa poò informarsi, che WordPress è una piattaforma CMS (Content Management System) nata per il “persona publishing”  e quindi per la gestione di contenuti per l pubblicazione di un blog. Su questo non c’è il minimo dubbio.

Come tutte le cose nate bene e fatte bene però, c’è una naturale evoluzione, soprattutto per il fatto che WORDPRESS, creato da Matt Mullenweg è distribuito sotto licenza GNU General Public License. Ciò significa che è “open source” ed esiste una comunità di sviluppatori della piattaforma assolutamente enorme.

La naturale evoluzione di WORDPRESS, ha portato il prodotto a non essere più solamente adatto al personal publishing, il blog per l’appunto, ma ad un vero e proprio CMS per la gestione di siti internet aziendali più o meno complessi. Oggi con WordPress è possibile gestire interi portali di e-commerce, siti internet per la gestione documentale, magazines online, web communities, direcotires, aggregatori di notizie o semplici siti web aziendali. Definire oggi WORDPRESS come sinonimo di BLOG non è solo sbagliato ma significa non conoscrne la sua naturale evoluzione nel tempo. Significa però anche non avere una chiara idea di cosa sia realmente un CMS e soprattutto non è chiara l’importanza di dividere in modo netto la gestione dei contenuti dalla struttura di un sito web più o meno complesso che sia.

Non voglio necessariamente tessere le lodi al famoso CMS di cui sto parlando qui, ma è importante riconoscere il fatto che per più o meno del 90% dei siti web oggi pubblicati in rete, WORDPRESS è sicuramente il sistema più indicato per la gestione dei contenuti, qualsiasi essi siano. Proprio per via della sua versatilità, per la sua semplicità nell’adattarsi a qualsiasi situazione e necessità e alla facilità a fargli “digerire” qualsiasi struttura grafica (layout). Non dimentichiamoci poi, che WORDPRESS è piuttosto SEO oriented e quindi generare contenuti ottimizzati per i motori di ricerca diventa molto più semplice per chiunque.

Esistono altri CMS piuttosto diffusi e di successo, come JOOMLA!, DRUPAL, TYPO ecc…. Sono tutti sistemi eccellenti, ma se posso scegliere, dove posso, utilizzo WORDPRESS, è più leggero e molto più flessibile rispetto ai suoi concorrenti.

Mi sono sentito anche dire, non da pochi, che un sito fatto con WORDPRESS è immediatamente riconoscibile e riconducibile quindi ad una filosofia operativa e di comunicazione molto blog-oriented. E’ assolutamente falso. Le impostazioni grafiche dei siti web, risentono molto dello stile del grafico, delle mode ma anche della user-experience generale che ha portato alcune standardizzazioni. Questo luogo comune ha seguito molto anche JOOMLA! considerato un CMS per la gestione di portali, ma sfido, di primo acchito, a pensare che ad esempio il sito è stato sviluppato su piattaforma JOOMLA, eppure è così.

Come ho detto prima, CMS è un acronimo e sta per Content Management System, cioè un sistema per la gestione di CONTENUTI. Il layout grafico, cioè la struttura è a prescindere dal CMS. Struttura e CMS sono due “oggetti” completamente differenti e vanno considerati in modo differente.

Gmail all’attacco di Facebook la posta di Google è “social”

9 02 2010 di ALESSIO BALBI

GOOGLE ci riprova: nonostante i tentativi falliti degli ultimi anni, l’azienda di Mountain View non si rassegna all’esclusione dall’enorme mercato dei social network e si prepara a trasformare il suo servizio di posta elettronica Gmail nell’arma per attaccare lo strapotere di Facebook e Twitter.

Secondo indiscrezioni riportate dal Wall Street Journal, Google presenterà oggi nuove funzionalità che permetteranno agli utenti di Gmail non solo, come già avviene, di aggiornare il proprio status online, ma anche di “aggregare gli aggiornamenti dei propri amici in un flusso”, proprio come quello che compone le homepage di Facebook e di Twitter.

Si tratterebbe di una mossa chiaramente volta a invertire la tendenza che vede la posta elettronica sempre meno usata, specie da determinate fasce di utenti, in favore dei servizi di social networking. Secondo una recente indagine Nielsen, il pubblico delle reti sociali ha superato quello delle e-mail: 301 milioni di utenti contro 276 milioni.

La nuova funzionalità di Gmail, riferisce il Wsj, “comprenderà i contenuti che l’utente e i suoi amici condividono tramite YouTube e Picasa”. La tempistica con la quale le nuove caratteristiche saranno aggiunte al servizio non è ancora chiara. Il sito Wired ipotizza che Google possa includere nel flusso di Gmail anche gli aggiornamenti che l’utente pubblica su Twitter. Più difficile che lo stesso dialogo possa avvenire con Facebook, servizio basato su protocolli non condivisi.

Google tenta di affermarsi nel settore dei social network dal 2004, ben prima dunque del boom di Facebook e Twitter. Ma, da Orkut in poi, le sue iniziative non hanno mai incontrato il favore del grande pubblico. La piattaforma Google Wave, pensata come un nuovo strumento di comunicazione per il web 2.0, giace semi-dimenticata in versione beta dallo scorso maggio. Nel frattempo, secondo alcune anticipazioni, Facebook si starebbe attrezzando per disturbare Gmail direttamente sul suo terrento, trasformando il suo sistema di messaggistica in un vero e proprio servizio e-mail. Il progetto sarebbe stato battezzato in codice “Titan”.

Con i suoi 150 milioni di utenti unici mensili, Gmail può fornire al colosso di Mountain View il trampolino decisivo per un salto finora fallito. Come osserva il Financial Times, la posta elettronica di Google possiede in nuce “una quantità di elementi che, messi insieme, possono fornire un’alternativa basilare a Facebook”.