As the Net buzzes with news and speculation of Facebook’s acquisition offers, check out Joga for a preview of the kind of advertising directions Google is experimenting with. It is also, needless to say, one of their spins on social networking, it is their answer to Yahoo! Groups, and it is also one of their User-generated content plays.
“Joga is an online community created by Google and Nike for anyone anywhere in the world who shares a love for soccer, the world’s most popular sport. Joga is about getting to know your fellow fans; creating games and clubs; accessing athletes from Nike; and enjoying video clips and photos (you can even upload your own). You can strengthen existing friendships and begin new ones, join a wide variety of professional athletes and soccer communities, and even create your own to discuss soccer, exchange tips on the coolest moves, browse through various pitches worldwide, and plan your next game.” … reads the introduction.
Joga is today’s top mover upwards on Alexa, showing a sudden and enormous spike this week.
I like this strategy from Google. This is really the way to do it, and I applaud the move towards branded communities co-sponsored with their advertisers, while folding in social networking and user generated content into it.