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A Social Network… Coming to a Website Near You
Posted By Mikolaj Jan Piskorski On July 30, 2008 @ 9:14 am In New Business Models, Social Networks, Small Business | No Comments
In May 2008, Facebook, MySpace and Google each announced the release of their own platform that will allow users to take their on-line social network data and make it available to other websites, such as blogs, shopping portals, or hobby sites. Once adopted, these platforms will fundamentally change the way individuals and companies use the internet cementing the importance of on-line social networks.
Most of us are already familiar with the idea of sharing our network data on-line. For example, when we add an application to our Facebook or MySpace page, we usually let the program look up who are friends are. That way when we want to play Scrabble with friends, or quickly share a video with our colleagues, the application knows who these people are. Despite the initial excitement, few applications have truly changed the way we interact with each other. How would you have known that throwing sheep at your friends or buying them fictitious beers has only limited appeal…
The new platforms are promising something very different - Now the social network is coming to a website near you… Suppose you go to your favorite travel recommendation site. There, instead of using your regular username and password, you use your Facebook credentials to log in. With your permission, the travel site instantaneously looks up your on-line network and tailors its functionality accordingly. For example, if you want to go to Florida, the site will tell you which reviews have been written by your friends. Perhaps you are organizing a trip with your friends to Europe, and are choosing between different places to stay, you will be able to comment on each place right on the travel website and the conversation will only be visible to your traveling friends. However, if you want, all of your comments can be fed right back to your Facebook page for all of your friends to see.
This presents a huge opportunity for companies to change their on-line presence. Imagine the New York Times which gives you the ability to read, comment and interact with others on every article. Starbucks would do equally well by setting up pages for their individual stores and creating on-line communities for their frequent guests. Similarly, P&G could sense future trends easily just by letting their customers interact with each other on its product pages.
Now think of your own business… How can you best harness the power of social networks on your company website? Let us know…
p.s. Look for the next installment of the story, when we will talk managing your on-line community
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