Social networking is ‘the new black’

At the Supernova technology conference in San Francisco last month, there were plenty of practical examples of how social networking is being used in day-to-day life. A report on the conference on the Knowledge@Wharton site included comments from Google’s director of product management, Joe Kraus, who said, “People have been endlessly fascinated by one another for a very long time. Social networking is not new; we just have new ways to do it.”

He cited as an example “his own recent behavior in choosing an anniversary gift for his wife. He searched and found that candy is traditional for a sixth anniversary, then set up a message on his G-mail account, saying he needed ideas for a candy-based gift.

“A friend emailed to tell him of an extraordinary baker who constructs specialty cakes and, thanks to her suggestion, his sixth anniversary gift became an elaborate cake in the shape of a colorful purse. So, said Kraus, he went from solitary information discovery to social information discovery – and a much better result than he could have achieved on his own.”

 “…Most important, Kraus sees the web eventually becoming entirely social. ‘Today, social computing is something you do at a specific site,” said Kraus. “But we’re realizing that being social is not a site. It’s a concept.’

“We won’t get to that entirely social web, he added, until we find ways to allow users to do three things: establish a single identity to log on to many sites; share private resources such as photos or contact lists without handing out private credentials (such as an email account password); and distribute information across multiple social applications.”

More thoughts on social media business models

I suppose it’s no surprise that there’s a lot being written about viable business models for social media at present (see yesterday’s entry). Bernard Lunn at Read Write Web posted an article last week that has too many great points in it to summarise, so I encourage you to follow the link and read the article. Essentially, he opines that social media are at a fork in the road where they need to decide whether to remain a walled garden or an open, utility-type model. Interestingly, he says that MySpace is in a much more comfortable position than Facebook, and that LinkedIn is the most likely network to make a walled garden work (maybe it’s my age and stage of life, but I find LinkedIn much more useful than the others – anyone agree or disagree?).

Some other relevant articles that have been posted in the past few days:
Enterprise Adoption of Web 2.0: It’s Happening
Will Social Networks Remain Low-Ad Districts?