April 28, 2009
Social Networks Popular Even if Not Tied to Bottom Line
NewCommForum is in motion at the San Francisco Marriott this week and several industry pals and social media gurus are speaking on the latest industry trends around social media innovation, online community management and development, social media program management, metrics and a growing issue for companies and individuals alike: online reputation management.
And of course you can't seem to go anywhere in social media circles lately without the topic of crowdsourcing being discussed.
Why People Love Social Networks from Paul Gillin (also a speaker) this week ties into why social networks are so popular regardless of whether they make sense or not for their business.
He writes about content related to an individual's personal data within a social network and why how the value extends into something much greater. Over time, "activities and relationships are captured in their profiles and the more they contribute, the more valuable they are to the community and the more their personal status grows."
He also points to the utility component, which was one of the things Spock was demonstrating early on when they launched their people search engine. While primarily a people search engine, you could actually build a community around your profile which could in fact replace your contact manager or database over time. I can imagine numerous other online solutions where communities could not only form but could turn into contact managers as well.
Some social networks make it easier to track people's news or their relationships with others than others. LinkedIn, Classmates, MySpace and Facebook are great examples as are sites like FriendFeed that pull all your means for communicating to those networks together in one central place. I now see short glimpses of people's lives from several schools I attended over the years when keeping in touch directly would simply take too much time.
Features are evolving in real time everywhere a community is evolving. What I'd love to see is the ability to tag what becomes more important to you so you can continue to follow and track someone's progress, but pull your VIP/close friends and family list to the top so you're faced with much less white noise, particularly useful for people you follow on Twitter and Facebook.
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