Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Nielsen Rates Social Network Site A Must See

Hey Nielson

Social Networking is so hot right now, Nielsen is launching a social network to FIND OUT what's hot. It's all very meta. Nielsen is launching 'Hey! Nielsen,' a social network to act as a buzztracker for what in the entertainment world is hot on the web. The idea is to tap into the wisdom of crowds--or more specifically the wisdom of the "IN crowd" who wants to be webchatting about all the hottest TV, music, movies and web videos.

Hey! Nielsen is currently in beta testing, open only to Nielsen company employees--here's what the site looks like:

It calls itself "part opinion engine, part social network, and part buzz tracker," and the current homepage says "Hey! Nielsen is the place to share opinions on your favorite entertainment." The hope is that trend watchers, all those kids who are way ahead of the curve, will go there to talk about the TV show or movie that they expect to be huge.

This is the evolution of focus groups. People who participate in Hey! Nielsen will get awards. Nielsen can use this site to conduct experimental marketing and research, like the kind firms like Alloy do for movie and TV companies. It could even help with the like of Q ratings from Marketing Evaluations. But Nielsen says not to expect any usable media marketing research from the site for another year, at least. The potential down the pipe, especially if users take to the site, could be huge. With user profiles and a history of how people have rated various things, this kind of comprehensive knowledge about user patterns could be infinitely relevant to media companies.

Media Post broke the news earlier today.We did a "first on CNBC" interview with Nielsen Media Research CEO Susan Whiting and we're planning on having her back on when this goes live.

Questions?  Comments?