From the category archives:


Lou Kerner, Founder of Social Internet Fund, discusses social networking sites and their ability to keep users engaged. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

To see video on BloombergTV click here 


The Social Internet

by loukerner on January 25, 2012

While I thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Wall Street analyst, compliance issues hampered my ability to blog on SecondShares.  Now that I’m back angel investing, I look forward to sharing thoughts and analysis on the social and mobile companies I refer to as “Social Internet” companies.  Just as the siloed internet companies disrupted the offline leaders (e.g. Amazon v Walmart), Social Internet companies that are BORN social, will disrupt incumbent firs internet leaders.  I first outlined my thesis in the only real thought piece I wrote a year ago.  I now update those thoughts in a deck “The Social Internet“.  While the deck is meant to be given live (which I love doing, as it’s such a fun dynamic topic to discuss), a lot of value can be derived by reviewing the slides.   Enjoy the deck, share it, and I look forward to future posts.



Last Monday at 10:25 PM EST, Keith Urbahn, a former aide to Donald Rumsfeld, tweeted:

Figure 1: The Tweet Read ‘Round The World

Source: Twitter

From 10:45 PM – 2:20 AM EST, 27.9 million tweets were generated, breaking the record for the highest sustained rate of tweeting at an average of 3,000 Tweets Per Second (TPS).  During President Obama’s address, the rate of tweeting peaked at 5,106 TPS.  Notably, the record rate is 6,939 TPS which took place at New Years 2011 in Japan (a country with advanced smartphone technology).

YouTube views of President Obama’s speech exceeded 5.5 million views (his White House Correspondents Dinner speech got 7.2 million in five days, the most ever for a Presidential speech).

Figure 2: News of OBL’s Death Yielded Highest Sustained Rate of Tweeting Ever

Source: Twitter

While Urbahn’s tweet spread viral news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, Sohaib Athar aka @ReallyVirtual had actually “broken” the story hours earlier, unknowingly live-tweeting the raid from his first person vantage point in Abbottabad, Pakistan:

Figure 3: @ReallyVirtual Tweets OBL Raid Play-By-Play


Source: Twitter, via Namesake

Since his tweets were discovered, @reallyvirtual’s Twitter account surged to over 100K followers, from less than 100, and prompted the IT consultant to release a humorous FAQ page where he could direct countless inquiries.

Figure 4: @ReallyVirtual Has Attracted Over 100K Followers Since Tweeting His First Hand Account of the Raid


Source: TweetDeck

The previous week witnessed another occurrence of social media’s growing impact on real world events.

Mainstream media took advantage of the content being produced through social media by integrating the user-generated content during the royal nuptials.  Most notably, ABC broadcast the royal wedding live direct from its Twitter feed, while attempting to create an interactive experience between social media and its broadcast.

Figure 5: While The Internet Loved The Royal Wedding, The Flower Girl Was Less Enthused


ABC and Twitter came up with hashtags such as #RoyalSuccess and #RoyalMess to describe people’s reactions to dresses and to describe the #RoyalKiss.  Messages posted on both Facebook and Twitter were read from the screen, and a TwitterTracker was used to gauge user engagement in different aspects of the coverage.  As an ABC News executive commented, “Social media isn’t a novelty anymore, and you can’t treat it as such.  It’s not something you can even just do.  You have to constantly iterate and push things forward, and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

Figure 6: ABC Integrated Social Media To Provide More Complete Coverage of The Royal Wedding

Source: Twitter

Large scale planned events like the Royal Wedding or the Super Bowl attract new users to social media platforms and encourage enhanced interactions as users congregate to engage with the event.

Additionally, advertisers are increasingly embracing social media to insert their brands into the conversations around these major events.  We were particularly impressed by Unilever’s Magnum Ice Cream usage of the #RoyalWedding hashtag.

When Twitter users clicked on the #royalwedding hashtag, they were directed to the day’s Promoted Trend, which was sponsored by “Magnum Ice Cream.”  Clicking on “Magnum Ice Cream” then directed Twitter users to Magnum’s Facebook page (which now has over 1 million fans).

Figure 7: Unilever’s Magnum Ice Cream Social Media Campaign Yielded Massive Earned Media Impressions

Source: Facebook

Figure 8: Unilever’s Promoted #RoyalWedding Significantly Outperformed @ClarenceHouse’s #RW2011

Source: Twitter

Figure 9: Unilever’s Campaign Has Resulted In Owned Audience Which the Company Can Reach & Impact

Source: Klout



This Week In Social Media

by loukerner on April 8, 2011

Click Here For PDF



by loukerner on April 8, 2011

Refocusing the User Value Proposition


Last week we highlighted the return to Twitter of co-Founder Jack Dorsey and indicated product changes would follow that would be designed to make the user experience more intuitive and useful for average users.  Twitter’s major problem today is “onboarding,” which is the process of taking a new user and helping them quickly understand Twitter and derive value so they return and become active users.  On cue, this week Twitter unveiled several new features focused on improving the on-boarding experience to convert a higher percentage of registering users to become active users.


On Monday, the company updated their search engine to ease the discovery of Twitter feeds that better match a user’s interests.  Previously, the Twitter search engine had to contain the key term in the user name.  Now, it seems Twitter has worked on indexing/profiling their users.


Tied into the push of helping its users find interesting content, on Wednesday, Twitter released a new homepage with the new call to action of “Follow your interests”:





Permission Marketing Helping Sites Leverage Social Graph To Better Monetize

April 8, 2011

Share Guest Post by Liza Hausman Vice President of Marketing, Gigya In 1999 “Permission Marketing” was the buzzword of the year when Seth Godin wrote a book about “turning strangers into friends and friends into customers.” As Godin told marketers, “By talking only to volunteers, Permission Marketing guarantees that consumers pay more attention to the [...]

Read the full article →

Peeling the Onion To Understand Lifetime Value of Social Media

April 8, 2011

Share Guest Post by Matt Monahan, Epic Social Director     Long before the Social Web was invented, email marketers and search marketers were building scalable, sustainable businesses by understanding two simple principles; their customer’s life-time value (LTV) and their customer’s acquisition cost.  The customer LTV principle has not evaporated along with the many industries [...]

Read the full article →


April 8, 2011

Share Facebook Value Stays Steady at $77.8B   The market for trading private shares is still in its infancy, and while there are hundreds of private companies with shares available for trading, Facebook continues to dominate trading actively, with Twitter, Groupon, Linkedin, Zynga & Yelp also getting investor attention, but with limited trading activity to [...]

Read the full article →


April 8, 2011

Share Facebook Dominates Social Networking Landscape, Surpasses 250mm Mobile Users Facebook’s dominance of social networking is on full display in the below chart recently released by Pingdom which shows every social network with over 1 MM daily visitors.   We expect Facebook’s membership to continue to grow, particularly in the less saturated demographics (55+) and [...]

Read the full article →
© 2010 SecondShares