This is a great post. Twitter fails where other social networking sites have succeeded in that it fails to leverage network effect. Twitter really has yet to prove it’s value for a lot of end-users. Without developing a substantial, active (daily.. or many times daily) user base, Twitter ad revenues will continue to be stagnant. The company also seems unclear on how it should provide value for it’s corporate clients. They offer a Brand Strategy team to help corporates (like beer companies, reality TV series) manage their Twitter presence but haven’t found a way to monetize this specifically.
Great post. One additional interesting facet of Whole Foods’ operating strategy is the decision to purchase locally. Founded in Austin, the firm was founded with the city’s locally-driven identity at top of mind. A former colleague of mind ran a gelato business on the side and her gelato was picked up by Whole Foods in Rhode Island, and then regionally to the entire North East. Not only does this strategy align with the “eat local, buy local” part of the company’s strategy, but it also helps strengthen local suppliers and boosts the local economy. Local shipping also keeps food fresher and delivery costs low. Additionally, WF even provides low interest loans to independent farmers who provide produce for their stores!
It’s interesting to see how LTK thinks about compensating its bloggers. They have an extensive in-house staff used to vet bloggers (as you reference), but they could potentially start to automate this since so much of this analysis can be automated. The second thing I find interesting about the blogger management is the ‘development’ piece of it. This article points out some interesting strategies – like helping bloggers identify their budgetary sweet spot and encouraging them stay within a certain price zone to maintain followers and increase likes (and therefore dollar – http://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/the-click-clique/.
Additionally – they have the benefit of being first mover, but how will they have to change their model as more competitors are entering the space and as retailers are implementing their own technology to do this? What if they are undercut on cost (as has happened in other industries)? What if retailers start to block them out?