Wednesday, February 18, 2009

BEST Awards at Bebo SF proves Social Apps are all about engagement

"Bebo's Engage to Success Today" Best Awards and Developer Meetup was held at Bebo SF yesterday.

It was a special day for me to see the grand finale of my project I started in October to help Bebo lay the foundation of a developer program. I started with an MRD for Developer Outreach and we filled product gaps in the platform by quickly launching Javascript suppport (FBJS equivalent called SNJS on bebo) and engagement metrics and announced the BEST Contest @ BeboDevNite in Nov 2008. Sun has been a loyal partner offering 1 year free hosting on joyent for bebo apps. They also offered the grand prize of a Sun Server to the BEST awards winner.

People Speak But Numbers Speak Louder

The best part of this project for me has been the bebo team and how developers got excited and gave feedback to get SNJS from beta to live. I remember countless spreadsheets and discussions keeping laser like focus on engagement. Bebo Platform is essentially the same as Facebook Platform, so anyone with a facebook app could port overnite to bebo. But the focus was to help developers with engaging apps build on bebo so they can monetize, scale and be successful.

There were 2000 new applications submitted to the contest in 2 months!
Developers email to bebo has grown 8 folds.
Engagement in terms of time spent/user/month for apps has grown by 70% overall.

This just proves that users are returning to use the apps on bebo.

Best Awards Event :

Top four apps were shortlisted as honarable mentions. They get Bebo's marketing support. Judges Dave McClure and Frank Gruber joined us in person. Jesse Stay could not join in person and tweeted his support.

1. Solid Sudoku - play solo Sudoku or challenge friends with a clean, stream-lined interface. Solid Sudoku can be found on Bebo at:

2. Robokill Trainer with J2Play - liberate Space Station Titan Prime in this classic arcade shooter with RPG elements. Robokill Trainer with J2Play can be found on Bebo at:

3. Bananagrams - form words as quickly as possible using letter tiles and the first player to use all their tiles then declares "Bananas!" and wins the game. Bananagrams can be found on Bebo at:

4.Kick Mania - an animated game with low level violence and high level fun. Kick Mania can be found on Bebo at:

The holy trinity of apps is distribution, engagement and monetization says Mr.Social Network Dave McClure
He had valuable advice to add developers and entrepreneurs on social platforms.

The event warmed up with Rockband, typical bebo style

Amy Berg, Bebo Platform Community Manager set the stage listing the top 5 apps. This was followed by bananagram app demo.

This was followed by Bowling Buddys by John of Playfish. I love all Playfish apps, they are a class apart! They bring real life games with a real life like engagement online. They have one of the best leaderboards ever.

Markus of TheBroth showed kickmania app. It is a cool game to use physics to kick someone.
Funny you can choose different kind of legs and buy shoes with virtual currency.

Dave Mcclure and Frank Gruber did a demo of Solid Sudoku as the developer could not join us. They were awesome with their expert comments and cracked up the audience.

And the Winner was Bowling Buddies! Congratulations Playfish!!! John of Playfish received his trophy and joked saying he will throw the server up in their cloud.

Pictures from bestawards are here -
Tweets from the event are here -

The best part of the event was the valley's ever enthusiastic social app developers who hobnobbed with the bebo engineers and the cool top developers and to leave knowing focusing on engagement has really worked to help bebo and the developers! So this is just a new beginning!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Power of Social Media Metrics

I have been playing with Social Media Metrics as part of my recent work for Intuit with social media strategy among cross-functional groups as a way to measure campaign ROIs.

I feel the same excitement which I felt towards Google SEM metrics tools in 2003 as they evolved with enterprise adopting ppc campaigns. Today we need social media metrics as social media becomes a part of the marketing mix.

Power of Social Media Metrics Tools and ROI (example UCGExpo)

The beauty of social media and why I compare it to Google SEM engine is because the information is all public. The tools harness the data and we can set specific keywords, related to our product or competition or a combination that relates to a particular product or brand.

My friend Bob Miko of pacific dialogue invited me to User Generated Content Expo 2009 in San Jose Feb 9-10th organized by Media bistro of Jupiter Media. There was lot of excitement - good speakers, interactive audience and exhibitors, all very focused on the topic with not much frills on free food or giveaways.

Social media metrics tool SM2 from techrigy shows how bloggers and tweeters loved UGCExpo.

Social Media Impressions - breakup by blogs, twitter, videos from Feb 9 to 12th.
(click on graphs to see larger view)

Demographics of social media coverage

Tone of Social Media Impression is mostly neutral or positive

So the pr folks have achieved more than their ROI. Jupiter Media and Media Bistro can use this as baseline to overlay their future conferences to measure ROI for social campaigns.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Craig Newmark on User Generated Content and Mobile + Social Panel - Day 1 User Generated Content Expo UCGX09

Craigslist's KeyNote on User Generated Content

I listened to Craig's keynote on Day 1 of at the User Generated Content Expo 2009 in San Jose Feb 9 and 10.

Here's part of the video

Craig Newmark story from UGCX09 - part 2 from sujam on Vimeo.

part 3 -nice lively q&a ( I need to find a way to get all q&a videos clips edited together and will update here later)

My Summary:
  • Culture of participation
  • Had no clue about branding just used common sense and did the right thing, just treat the customer like how you would like to be treated.
  • Realized he was not a manager and found a CEO
  • Repeat emphasis that this is not altustic
  • Paranoid of not listening enough to customers
  • Really enjoys listening to customers and let the community drive itself.
  • Amazing honesty. Tied his experience to Obama campaign and grassroots movement for us to participate in Government.
Mobile and Social Panel: Beyond the Desktop: Social Content goes Mobile

Excellent mix of panelists, experts across the mobile spectrum.

Moderator: Adam Hirsch, COO, Mashable
Speakers: Philip Miano, National Sales Director, Third Screen Media
Eric Litman, Chairman & CEO, Medialets
Bryan Barletta, Associate Editor,
Jonathon Linner, CEO, Limbo

Full Panel video (not including q&a) - (I'll update here once the video is ready on vimeo)

See my Summary from my tweets I did during the event. (I am adding it as a screenshot, pl let me know if you know how to show the twitter search results as a widget here)

Exhibits were 5-6 tables. I saw an interesting company ConnectBeam at the Exhibit Booth.
They make enterprise social software, particularly making it easy to find information posted in profiles/tags inside enterprise searchable using google, exisiting wiki, integrating all the different social apps, thereby saving $$$ by knowledge sharing inside a company. Worth checking!!!

Overall User Generated Content has fresh conference content, excited audience and I left wishing I could stay longer or return on Day 2 too!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Live Blog of DevJam @Myspace, sf monetization panel and OSML by Myspace

I am sitting at DevJam event @Myspace, will blog live as I find interesting stuff (I am not blogging everything here today!

3.30pm: Monetization panel:
Request to Myspacefrom developers from the panel:

1.Jason of App-o-rama: Can you make the approval process faster? When a developer adds and update it brings the app down for couple days which kills growth.
2.John.H of RockYou: More stability from the platform
3.Nick of MakeaBaby: Tell us as you change things that will break our apps proactively.
Audience Q&A:

Q: How did they get stared and arrive at offerpal for virtual currenct?

Its all about comfort level with the virtual currency company, everyone mentioned Julie of offerpal. They also did A/B testing and found offerpal was at par or better than others.
Q:How do you bring down an inflated virtual currency?
Jason had that experience in space domination game. 2 users reached the top level, we brought it down w their top user's permission.
Nick: We created new virtual goods. eg. W ehad an ipod, added a star in front of it, called it blinkpod and charged it 10 times more.

Q. Do you allow secondary markets?
Jason, no, you don't want someone else to make money that you could earn.
Q From Abdul Rehman (AR): Followup question, users are going to do that eventually. Why not setup an exchange.
A: Offerpal will add that if need arises, not needed yet.

4pm: Chris Cole of Myspace presents OSML
Updated with video here:

Myspace Devjam Feb08 from sujam on Vimeo.