There's a fantastic article about Facebook in BusinessWeek (of all places) that David Armano tipped me off to on Twitter just now. It contains a review of about a dozen branded Facebook widgets, done by Armano himself, Sarah Hofstetter from 360i and Eric Weaver from Brand Dialogue. (NB: Their reviews are in the pop-up slideshow at the bottom of the page)
For those of us familiar with social media, it's vindication, plain and simple. All the things we've been telling people these past few years, laid out in plain English. (Example: Hofstetter notes that "when a branded version goes up against an identical nonbranded app without an extra value or nuance attached to it, nonbranded will win every time.")
But for those of you working at the agencies that consistently push these kinds of solutions-- and for the clients who aid and abet them-- this is a must-read article that explains the common sense reasons why Your Brand Is Not My (Facebook) Friend™ and why the mere act of making a Facebook app does not guarantee success. You've got to understand the medium before you use it.
Fortunately, in the case of Facebook, that's not all that difficult an assignment.