Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Looking into the future

There is a bright future for social network sites. This became clear when I read the eight prediction that Frederik De Wachter made about the future of social network sites. He is the founder of tagger.fm, a brand new internet company where you can bookmark your music and share it with your friends. De Wachter sees eight major evolutions in the next year

1. Mobile internet breaks through, thanks to attractive applications and fixed tariffs.

2. Social networks will become the most important youth media.

3. Internet piracy will be successfully attacked for the first time on ISP level in EU countries.

4. The digital sales of music will be the biggest source of revenue for a lot of labels.

5. Packaging of unlimited data and music subscriptions will find acceptance

6. Next to IPhone other manufacturers will bring similar phones on the market. This will make Mobile browsing more interesting.

7. Gent confirms his new role as catalyst for web start ups.

8. In Flanders digital economy breaks through as fourth sector. It will be the driving force of innovation and growth.

Not all of these predictions can be reflected on our internet start up,E-Runner, but we get a good feeling when we read this!

Source: Frederik De Wachter, tagger.fm

Am I an active user?

Social networking is the next big thing, we all know it, everybody is talking about it, the internet is filled with it. Almost everybody has a Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn account. I have them as well, but sometimes I have the feeling that I’m missing the vibe of all this social networking stuff. I don’t feel the need to use my Facebook as some kind of public diary, I don’t tweed every hour of the day and my LinkedIn Profile is only for 50% complete. I ask myself the question: Am I an active user or not? Am I the only one who thinks like this?

So, I did some research. I was convinced that I am not the only one who has an account on Twitter and never tweets. Numbers have confirmed my suspicion. A study from security firm Barracuda Labs provides some interesting insights into the state of the Twitterverse. This company looked at 19 million Twitter accounts to search for active Twitter users. The definition they used was the following: An active or “True” Twitter user has at least 10 followers, follows at least 10 people and had tweeted at least 10 times. By that definition though, only 21% of Twitter users are active users. Surprisingly, I am not one of them…

Then I looked at some statistics of Facebook. As we take a look at the Facebook statistics page, we see that Facebook already has more than 400 million users. 50% of the people who have an account log on to Facebook in any given day and almost 10% of the total users update their status each day. According to the numbers an average Facebook user looks like this: he has 130 friends, sends 8 friend requests a month, spends more than 55 minutes per day on Facebook, clicks the Like button on 9 pieces of content each month, becomes a fan of 4 Pages each month, is invited to 3 events per month and is a member of 13 groups. I recognize myself in all the ‘passive’ things. I have more than 130 friends, I receive more than three event invitation a month and I become a fan of more than 4 Pages each month. But when I look at the ‘active’ things such as inviting friends, hitting the Like button and spending time on the site, I must confess that I’m not a real facebook user.

If a want to become a real active user of social networks, I'll have to try harder.




40% Cardio, 60% Cocktails

Market trends. Target audience. Objectives. That is how most of the teams in our class developed the concept for a new social network site. And of course, you can come up with a whole range of possibilities to give meaning to your SNS. When it comes to our own start-up projects, we’ve already seen the combination of fashion & gadgets, running & networking, and so on. Whether you want to go niche or a whole lot broader, everything is possible. But what about this one: Iamsuperchick.com claims to offer its members ‘fashionable affordable female fitness’, and thereby considers itself to be ‘the contradiction you’ve been looking for’. The key to their success? Cardio and fitness. Sounds like a plan to me!

Source: www.iamsuperchick.com

Flanders' Spirit of Enterprise

At the beginning of the second term, Dr. Els Van de Velde asked us if any of the eleven groups were actually considering executing their start-up for real. With a rather resigned attitude, the whole class uncomfortably looked at one another.

After several months of working on the concept, strategy and finances of a new online platform, none of the teams seemed to consider setting up a real business. So I wondered: is launching your own company at the age of 22 even a real option? The very thought must have crossed everybody’s mind once in a while, but I, for one, put the idea out of my head.

And apparently, this attitude characterizes the Belgian investment climate. That is why the Flemish government has devoted a big part of her new communication campaign “Vlaanderen in Actie” to entrepreneurship.

I’m curious to see what the outcome of this new approach will be. Other similar initiatives, such as the Battle of Talents, have already proven to be a big success.

Sources: www.vlaandereninactie.be and www.battleoftalents.be

Monday, March 29, 2010

The importance of internal and external social networks

Companies have to jump on the train of social network sites, both external and internal social networks.

Some companies still have to decide if they want to be active on social network sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook. They still have to realize that the maintenance of a profile on Facebook or LinkedIn has a lot of advantages. It amplifies the image of the company, it attracts new employees and it amplifies the bonding between employees and the company.

This last advantage brings us to the importance of an internal social network (also called enterprise social networking). A lot of big companies already have an intranet where employees can search for name, address and email of colleagues, but companies have to see that this also brings a great opportunity. An enterprise social network could help bonding the employees with each other and could help the teambuilding within the company. Some Belgian companies have taken this to the next level: they made a social network site oriented towards their customers. ABConcerts is a good example of this new trend. They are convinced that it can help the customer relations and that it can have an improving effect on the image of the company.

Source: Bruno Peeters

Voorspellingen 2009: 20 experts aan het woord

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Let's go flunning!

After smirting, the combination of smoking and flirting, there is a more sportive and healthy trend: FLUNNING. Running and flirting at the same time.

British research has shown that a quarter of the British people go running to flirt with runners from the opposite sex. A thousand runners and a thousand non-runners participated in the study and the research revealed that one out of three runners tries to strike up a conversation with someone from the opposite sex.

Because of the fact that our target audience for our brand new internet start up are business people who want to plan running dates, this trend could be pretty interesting for us.

Source: De Standaard

Get your SNS analyzed here!

Before launching your own brand new website, it might be interesting to analyze some of its aspects. In the business plan for our own new social network site we have incorporated a test phase during which we can look for weaknesses and optimize our online network and service. A helpful tool for this could be the online marketing consultation service of the Stylez company website. Stylez offers a variety of services like web planning and development, system consulting, internet media business and online marketing consulting. You can get a free website analysis for instance where two of the most substantial aspects of your website are analyzed: its usability and the implementation of its SEO (Search Engine Optimization). For a new start-up like ours this could be very helpful since we would want to know whether our website is efficient or not, especially in comparison with that of the competitors. Stylez also offers ways to direct your target market to your website and to increase conversion. With a proper strategy and relevant web contents that comply with the users’ needs you can direct users to reach your desired goals.

Sources: http://www.stylez.sg/index.php