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Jan 15, 2009 - Spotting things you'll want to see today.

This is the Jan 15 2009 edition of Who's Blogging What, a newsletter that covers over 1,000 top web marketing blogs for online professionals involved in social media, search marketing, email, user experience and web analytics. If you would like to be kept up to date you may enter your email address in the box at the right.

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friend fed?
24,000 Whoppers were all it took to feed a social marketing frenzy

Burger King has gone beyond virtual pokes and flowers to create a Facebook app with some real meat behind it. As described by the NY Times Bits blog, a free Whopper could be had in exchange for just ten deleted friends. A volunteer sacrifice group quickly emerged and Jason Kottke did the math to show that the promotion valued Facebook's entire network at just $1.8 billion (a mere 750 million Whoppers).

Even before the giggles subsided the sound of social marketing ground being broken emerged. The Viral Blog found value in the large numbers of people just watching friends get chopped for hamburgers on activity feeds. The youth marketing blog ypulse liked a promotion that was based in the reality that most people needed to trim their friends anyway (and found a post by the Harvard Law blog Digital Natives with a brief on the growing field of 'unfriending').

On Wednesday Facebook decided that the promotion was perhaps a bit too far ahead of its time. Inside Facebook explained that public 'unfriending' violated Facebook's privacy policy and that Burger King had been asked to disable the application. TechCrunch was then one of the first to express amazement that Facebook would disavow a much needed Madison Avenue victory because of an innocuous privacy issue that hurt no one. Burger King's advice to the unfriended? Just send the beef fed creep an Angry Gram [caution - sound].


CBS is adding social aspects to online video with

An early theme of 2009, enriched at last week's CES show, is that it will be the year when online video becomes mainstream. Ypulse makes the argument that the economic downturn is providing a stimulus for entertainment that doesn't require a ticket or a monthly cable fee.

When CBS purchased CNET last May it picked up TV.Com which is now positioned to challenge Hulu (which itself is chasing Youtube). ReadWriteWeb identifies social networking features and other destination features as a differentiating factor for but they also cite a lack of good video content. Ars technica feels that CBS is quickly addressing that issue and that the revamped may become a favored channel for viewers. While Download Squad pointed out some remaining shortcomings in the offerings, Marketing Pilgrim gave reasons for marketers to welcome the growth in online video with the promise of new advertising and promotion opportunities for online marketers.


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