VerticeTree is a Finnish startup founded in October 2007 that offers “Research, technology and consulting for online and mobile social networks”.
Their offering is divided into three areas: Network analysis and visualization (Analyzing and visualizing your most valuable customers in social networks), Advertising experiments (pretesting of advertising -which is nothing new – and Facebook apps) and Social targeting of advertising which sounds somewhat similar what Facebook does with its Newsfeed and Beacon.
So far VerticeTree has created PlayFinland, which is a community (web site and a Facebook group) for the Finnish Game industry funded by Tekes and an interesting Facebook experiment on the network of one apps users. What VerticeTree is doing is very interesting and I’m really looking forward in hearing more from these guys in the future.
New York Times has an article on the differences of online behavior between teenage girls and boys. The article is based on an earlier PEW research report Teens and Social Media that found that girls are more creative than boys online. Girls blog more, are more active on social networking sites, post more photos and create more websites of their own. The only area where boys are more creative is shooting and posting videos.
YouNoodle is a new startup that tries to automate a significant part of venture capitalists’ decision-making process. It uses artificial intelligence to predict if a startup is going to succeed in the future. They focus on factors such as the social and business networks and previous work experience of the founders which with other non-disclosed factors create the base for their Startup-predictor.
Petsie is social networking for pets. Dogs, cats, horses, rodents – you name it – even rubber ducks. The site doesn’t have that many networking features, just the the typical profiles with commenting and the possibility to have friends. A nice feature is the abilities of each pet – cleanliness (from sleazebag to clean), intelligence, speed etc. The pets’ owners also have their profiles.
Petsie was started in 2006 and so far there are more than 17k pets on the site. The service is available currently in three languages: English, Finnish and Swedish.
Here is my very subjective view on the current top 5 best blogs about startups in no particular order:
- FoundRead, which is part of technology blog network GigaOm, gives good tips and lessons for startups.
- Mashable features news especially on social networking and has great lists such as SOCIAL NETWORKING GOD: 350+ Social Networking Sites.
- blog.pmarca.com by Marc Andreessen, former co-founder of Netscape, now the co-founder of free social networking platform Ning, offers good advice for startups, that are definitely based on very extensive experience.
- How to Change the World by Guy Kawasaki, a Silicon Valley VC and author, has good advice for startups from an investor’s perspective.
- And no list about startup blogs can be complete without Techcrunch. It was started 2005 by Michael Arrington and now boasts 2.5M unique visitors per month. Techcrunch has usually well informed news about new web products and services. It has become the archetype of startup blogs both in good and bad.
MuslimSpace is a social networking site for Muslims that’s based in Espoo, Finland. According to Alexa they reach 145k users per week. The users come from around the world. The top three countries are Malaysia (18.5%), United States (13.6%) and Serbia and Montenegro (12.3%).
MuslimSpace is very much a MySpace clone especially when looking at the profile pages which feature all the same elements as MySpace. Besides the usual networking features the site also has blogs, photo galleries, groups, polls and forums.
The Season of Social Network Platforms is apparently here. All the major and smaller social networks are opening up their services. I believe the winners are not the social networks themselves, who will be forced to open their users’ social graphs, and thus their competitive advantage, but now smaller widget-like services that tap into the users’ social graphs across several, if not almost all, social networking sites.
The season for social network platforms is now, but the fight is just starting.